The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists.
Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub Street has not been officially decided upon as the provincial administration has not officially discussed the matter with town residents, including those living in the heritage houses around the proposed tourist attraction.
He added that the provincial administration will not require investors for the new Pub Street because it would most likely not be as large as the one in Siem Reap town. Nonetheless, he invited interested investors to conduct studies and propose investment plans to his administration.
Prior to the establishment of a Pub Street, Lou said, the provincial administration will be planning to design night walks and engage food vendors and entertainment venues to enliven the area. Such a plan would demand residents of the heritage buildings to participate in preparations and take part in proposed commercial activities, he said.
“The establishment of the Pub Street plan has not been discussed in detail, we have just conducted some surveys. But once Pub Street has materialised, it will attract more … tourists to Battambang. They will be able to visit the heritage houses in town and consume a variety of food,” he said.
Lou added that the plan to establish a Pub Street is in line with broader efforts to bring the smart-city concept to Battambang town, which the provincial administration and several Japanese entities have been jointly working on.
He insisted that the establishment of the Pub Street project will not affect the heritage buildings, and will instead serve only to bring economic benefits to locals through increased tourist expenditures.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan noted that a previous attempt by a former Battambang provincial governor to establish a Pub Street in the town had been unsuccessful, but welcomed the latest attempt, saying that it would further boost the tourism potential of the province.
Sinan suggested that the Pub Street in Battambang should differentiate itself from that of Siem Reap to make it a more interesting destination.
“Do not think that just because Siem Reap’s Pub Street is successful, we should copy it in Battambang. Each province should approach it creatively, so we can create more differentiated tourist sites, which will make it more attractive to tourists as something new, different and glamorous,” he said.