SIEM Reap continues to add hotel rooms despite a 13-percent drop in tourist numbers in the first six months of the year.
Ghov Seng Kak, acting president of the provincial tourism department, said 17 hotels are under construction. When completed they will add 2,700 rooms to capacity - an increase of around one-third - and employ 3,000 local staff, he said.
He predicts that the number of hotel rooms will not exceed long-term demand since the province - home to Angkor Wat - has strong tourism appeal.
"I believe that between August and March 2010, Siem Reap will receive more tourists than in the previous [eight] months because it is the reason tourists come [to Cambodia]," he said.
Provincial Governor Sou Phirin said Monday there are no obstacles to further development of Siem Reap's hotel sector, although he declined to state how much money is being spent on construction.
He said current construction must continue and maintains that investors are confident the global economic problems will abate.
"So I hope that more hotels will be constructed ... and more Cambodian people will get jobs at them," he said.
Figures from the provincial tourism department show the province has 116 hotels totalling more than 8,000 rooms. It received 503,000 visitors in the first six months of the year, compared with 578,700 in the same period last year.
Luu Meng, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association, said Monday that hotel owners have not shut down in the face of the global slowdown, but have mainly cut working hours.