Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shortage of rooms in Sihanoukville

Shortage of rooms in Sihanoukville

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Traffic passes in front of a casino and hotel complex in Sihanoukville last year.

Shortage of rooms in Sihanoukville

Many in the Kingdom’s southern coastal city of Sihanoukville have expressed concern over the toll that increased development is taking on the land and environment.

Noting a surge of hotels, condominiums and casinos popping up on the strength of Chinese investments and tourists, critics have speculated whether the growth is happening too fast for the city to keep up the pace.

A Post reporter visiting on the weekend noted the damage, rubbish was strewn all over the place, and pollution caused by clouds of dust from trucks hauling dirt.

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min confirmed that Sihanoukville is seeing an increase in tourism, especially from China.

While acknowledging that the development of the construction sector had negatively impacted public order and the environment, he said where there is construction, there is bound to be rubbish.

“Sihanoukville is developing ... making the city less beautiful, but it will be good when it is fully developed,” he said.

Voices of concern are often countered by those who are profiting off growing land prices in the beach town.

The owner of a restaurant on Ochheuteal Beach told The Post that with the rise of Chinese tourists, Western visitor numbers had fallen. However, he claimed business was still good.

“Now Sihanoukville is full of Chinese, and most of them spend a lot of money. My business is enjoying growth due to this,” he said, noting that he had also rented a shop to Chinese entrepreneurs.

On the notion that Western tourist numbers were falling even as those from China were increasing, Yun Min pointed to the limited supply of rooms in town.

“The lack of accommodations and an increase in the cost of living are the main reasons for the slowdown in domestic visitors, while European visitor numbers to Sihanoukville have fallen slightly,” he said.

Preah Sihanouk province currently has 69 hotels which account for more than 4,000 rooms. Of that, luxury hotels account for more than 1,000 rooms, data from the Ministry of Tourism said.

30k rooms by 2030

The ministry said the province would need 30,000 additional hotel rooms by 2030 to meet the needs of the two million international tourists and three million domestic visitors a year by that time.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon spoke to Chinese investors at the inauguration ceremony of the Princess Times Hotel on Saturday, calling for more creative investments in the Kingdom. He expressed his support for growing tourism.

Cambodian Association of Travel Agents adviser Ho Vandy said the number of Chinese tourists visiting and investing in Preah Sihanouk province has risen sharply over the last three years. And this has laid plain the lack of accommodation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR