MINISTER of Tourism Thong Khon yesterday highlighted the large dollar-value of approved tourism projects in the first half of 2011 as reason for optimism for the sector’s future.
Claiming Cambodia could eventually see up to 40 percent of its total GDP from tourism, he said the sector stands to benefit from increased emphasis placed on sites outside of Angkor Wat.
“Recently, we see that tourism investors are interested in the coastal areas and islands because it’s becoming the second largest destination for tourism after the sites at Angkor Wat,” he said.
The CDC approved a third large tourism project worth US$50 million, joining two previous tourism-related projects receiving approval worth $2.188 billion, its statistics show. Officials declined to reveal the projects’ details yesterday.
The three tourism projects together represent the vast majority of the 57 total projects worth $2.923 billion in the first six months of the year, nearly triple the $1.078 billion worth of projects approved in the same period 2010. However, the CDC figures represent approved investment only, and do not necessarily translate into actual investment.
Some 45 projects in the industrial sector, including garment factories, were approved in the first half, worth $331 million, compared to 34 projects in the sector worth $732 million approved last year.