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‘Eco-tourism’ development on the cards for Koh Thmey isle

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A Google Maps screenshot shows Koh Thmey island, which is located just southeast of Prey Nop district's Ream National Park in Preah Sihanouk province.

‘Eco-tourism’ development on the cards for Koh Thmey isle

Local company HTTH Island Investment Co Ltd is reportedly studying the feasibility of a 16.68sq km “eco-tourism” development project on Koh Thmey island, just southeast of Prey Nop district’s Ream National Park in Preah Sihanouk province.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche affirmed to The Post that he attended a January 24 consultative meeting between the provincial administration, relevant officials, and company representatives that went over the potential environmental and social impacts of the project.

The authorities provided “input, insights, questions and suggestions” for the company’s consideration, he said, adding that plans are for the project site to be “turned into an eco-tourism area with investment capital of about $4 million in the first three years”.

“The private company’s [new venture] will provide many benefits, attracting tourists and contributing to the development of the national economy … [and] we trust that it’ll also create jobs and generate revenues for the province,” Dimanche said.

“We believe that Preah Sihanouk has a lot of potential.”

He said that the company is due to present a full environmental impact report at a future meeting with provincial authorities, and keep in contact with the Ministry of Environment.

The Ministry of Commerce’s business registry names two officers at the company: “Hun To” and “Leng Hour” – both males with the “oknha” Khmer honorific – the former of whom is senior.

According to deputy provincial governor Kong Vitanak, there are 32 islands in Preah Sihanouk – five in Sihanoukville, 19 in Koh Rong town, seven in Prey Nop district and just one in Stung Hav district.

In early August, he reported that there were four companies investing in four islands of Sihanoukville, seven firms in nine islands of Koh Rong, and 12 firms in six islands of Prey Nop, though he did not provide further details.

Around the same time, provincial Department of Tourism director Taing Sochet Krisna had told The Post that these island developments would motivate more tourists to visit the province as well as provide employment opportunities for locals.

He said the projects would not only be a boon for tourism development, but also provide indirect benefits to locals, including infrastructure, transportation services, and board and lodging.

“In terms of tourism, the islands have developed quite a bit. Outdoor leisure spots, hotels, entertainment venues along with other infrastructure to support the sector have been built there to improve their attractiveness,” Sochet Krisna said.


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