Nearly all the accommodations available in Koh Kong province’s Khemarak Phoumin town are fully booked as the coastal province prepares to hold the Sea Festival event next month.
The seventh Sea Festival will be held from December 14 to 16, with between 300,000 and 400,000 tourist arrivals expected. This is the second time that Koh Kong is hosting the festival. It last hosted the event in 2014, while Kep province held it last year.
The Sea Festival was first organised in Preah Sihanouk province in 2012 after Cambodia became a member of the “Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World”.
Apex Koh Kong Resort Hotel manager Heup Sotheary told The Post on Tuesday that his hotel was fully booked for the three-day festival mainly by Phnom Penh customers.
“All 32 rooms of the hotel have been fully booked. But customers still call daily for room reservations,” Sotheary said.
‘No spike in price’
Normally, the hotel’s rooms are priced at $10 and up, but for the Sea Festival, the price will increase by around 20 per cent on average.
“Room rates did not spike by too much because the authorities instructed [us] to limit the increase in price,” he said.
A staff of Koh Kong City Hotel who asked to remain anonymous said as of Tuesday, over 70 per cent of the total 54 rooms were booked, with most reservations being for two nights.
“Despite a lot of reservations, the hotel has not yet set a price. We just say that it will not go up high.” He said room rates at his hotel are currently $20 and up.
Although some hotels and guesthouses are fully booked, local authorities seem to have no concern about the lack of accommodation.
Koh Kong province deputy governor Sok Sothy said he is not worried about the lack of accommodation for visitors during the upcoming Sea Festival because a task force had already started preparing to use Koh Kong residents’ homes and camping grounds to serve guests as well as sending visitors to Thailand.
“In case there are more visitors than expected, we will contact Trat and Chanthaburi authorities [in Thailand] to allow our guests to go stay there,” Sothy said.
He said there are currently about 2,000 hotels and guest houses in Koh Kong province, or about 20,000 rooms.
The province has many tourist destinations such as Stung Areng, Chi Phat and Koh Kong Mangrove Resort.
To strengthen the quality of tourism services, the Ministry of Tourism recently issued a directive, instructing the authorities to maintain public order, and ensure sanitation, quality services, proper pricing, waste disposal management, guest transportation and tourist resorts management.