The Bokor National Park area in the Preah Monivong region has been earmarked by the government for development into a historical tourist destination that caters to both domestic and international visitors.

In making the announcement, Deputy Prime Minister, Chea Sophara, said that plans are afoot to turn part of Bokor Mountain into a smart city and a historical site that will be surrounded by greens, natural mountain landscapes, and a sea front blessed with a pleasant cool climate.

Details of the project by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction were unveiled on August 29 in a master plan entitled ‘2035 Bokor City Master Plan’ during a workshop at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel.

In his speech, Chea Sophara, who is also Minister for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said specific policies and a legal framework that will help create a city that caters to all needs.

He said that the master plan will look into the need for housing, relaxation, employment, study, and business, all within an eco-friendly environment are driving the development project.

Chea Sophara at the launch.

These initiatives are geared towards establishing a high-end luxurious tourism destination for both local and international tourists, he added. The study by the ministry found the location of the Bokor National Park is very unique in Cambodia and has a potential to be a top class international tourist destination.

Chea Sophara, who is also chairman of the National Committee for Land Management and Urban Planning, said that under the leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, peace is crucial and must be maintained for a stable and favourable development of all sectors in the Kingdom.

“Bokor has a favourable climate and has a unique location for housing, tourism development, and for the preservation of the environment that will bring sustainable development to the area,” he added.

He exhorted Cambodians to become stakeholders in the project, saying, “if Cambodians don’t support this project, please do not complain that this place is only for foreigners.

“Within 10 days, the project has already sold 4,000 plots to Cambodians at an affordable price. Next week, up to 10,000 plots could be sold to locals so that the middle- and lower-income group can have the opportunity to own land here.”

He also called on Cambodians to take advantage of the benefits of the project as Bokor is Khmer land and the government would like to see young Cambodians support it because the location has good infrastructure and comfortable weather with a pleasant environment.

The area comprises the Kampot, Preah Sihanouk and Kampong Speu geographical areas with a land size of 27, 943 hectares that represent 18.09 per cent of the 154,542 hectares of Preah Monivong National Park.

Guests attend the launching ceremony on August 29.

The development in the Bokor City project is designed to cover a wide range of legal and technical aspects that will facilitate proper coordination between the various sectors that will be the economic driving forces for sustainable development in the area.

The project has been planned in response to the increasing demographics, land use needs, housing development and development at all levels that takes into consideration current and future needs.

It will ensure the protection of natural and underground resources, ecosystems, environment and natural resources, especially the preservation of historic urban sites.

The master plan intends to ensure the effective management and governance of the proposed Bokor City by integrating, developing with quality conservation, balance, equity and sustainability.

According to the master plan, nine key areas have been identified for residential, commercial, mixed use areas, transportation, tourism, administration, public spaces, green areas, cultural and religious areas and technical infrastructure areas.

The residential area is contained in eight development sites and covers approximately 3,390 hectares or 37.85 per cent of the total land that can be built in the proposed Bokor City development project.