Minister of tourism says Koh Kong site can serve as road map
INDOCHINE Lodge Ltd has said it invested US$1 million in a newly opened floating ecotourism resort in Koh Kong province.
Speaking Sunday at the inauguration of the new resort – Four Rivers Floating Eco Lodge – 22 kilometres from Koh Kong on the Tatai River, Valentin Pawlik, general manager of Indochine, told the Post that the resort hopes to attract high-end tourists, charging US$170 per person per night as part of a package including food and a river cruise.
“The floating lodges, we hope, will not only attract foreign tourists but also will serve local tourists,” Pawlik said at Sunday’s event.
Indochine has so far completed construction on 14 of its 90-square-metre lodges on the riverside resort and plans to build a further six in the near future, he added. The total area of the site is 3,000 square metres, and employs 20 people.
Minister of Tourism Thorng Khon said Sunday that Cambodia still has a great deal of work left to do to develop ecotourism.
The Kingdom has 30 eco-tourism resorts, he said, which could absorb just 10 percent of tourists – there remains a lack of infrastructure and comfortable accommodation, he added.
In 2009, about 2.18 million tourists visited Cambodia, an increase of 2 percent on 2008, although air arrivals fell overall as more visitors crossed the border, particularly from Vietnam.
“We welcome this investment as an ecotourism destination because it could be the first good example … with a clear understanding of environmental issues,” he said, adding that it could also help spark further ecotourism investment.
The resort’s Web site says it has been built using environmentally friendly materials that minimise the use of wood, and that much of the site’s energy is gas and solar.
The backup generator works on biodiesel, and the resort uses a “sophisticated waste-water treatment system”, the Web site says, without giving further details.
While floating lodges were a good idea, Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said at the event that the government should be strict in inspecting similar projects in the future to minimise negative effects on the environment.