According to authorities, half a million people participated in the sixth annual Kep Sea Festival over the weekend, which they dubbed a ‘success’. The festival was held under the slogan ‘sustainable tourism for development’, a theme that Prime Minister Hun Sen focused on in a speech on Saturday night, reminding the audience to “maintain peace because without peace, there will be no tourists to come to visit”.
“If there’s no peace there will be no development,” he added. Ouk Tha, Kep deputy provincial governor, said the festival this year went smoothly despite the large crowds. “The Sea Festival this year is better and there weren’t any big problems, just some minor cases,” Tha said, adding that local authorities publicised images of thieves on Facebook to pre-empt petty crime. Oeng Sam Ol, Kep provincial police chief, said in a report that among the estimated half a million people who attended, only a handful had run-ins with the police. They arrested three bag snatchers, reprimanded a dozen civilians wearing police jackets and saved one citizen from drowning.