The Kep Tourism Master Plan 2023-2035 was officially launched on August 7, in a ceremony presided over by Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and Kep Provincial Administration officials.

The ministry said it believed that the plan would play an important role in laying out its vision of turning Kep into a high-level luxury eco-tourist destination.

Khon described the intended outcome of the plan as to turn Kep into a luxury destination, which could compete with others around the region and the world.

“The master plan sets the vision of Kep becoming a high-level eco-tourism destination by adhering to the principles of sustainable development, quality, competitiveness and smart tourism.

“It was approved by the head of government last July,” he said.

The ministry urged all relevant authorities, especially the provincial administration, to strive to implement the master plan with quality and efficiency, and to disseminate it as widely as possible, in order to ensure its success.

Governor of Kep Som Piseth said tourism services were attracting more and more visitors to the province.

“Although Kep is a small province with a population of just over 40,000, it is rich in natural tourist features that attract national and international tourists.

“In the past five years, Kep has received more than six million visitors,” he said.

Piseth said there are currently 16 hotels, 61 guesthouses, 25 bungalows, 41 restaurants, three spas and saunas, nine karaoke bars, one nightclub, three tourist information centres and 16 tourist boats operating in the province.

Piseth also noted that the province’s number of natural and cultural resorts had increased to 42.

“The master plan will help turn the eco-tourism destinations of our coastal province into high-level luxury tourist destinations.

“The provincial administration is committed to developing strategies to improve the success of this plan,” he said.

Besides tourism, he added, agriculture, fisheries, light industry and other businesses all contribute to the economic growth of the province.

The tourism ministry said the master plan has been prepared in detail by all stakeholders, including the provincial administration and an inter-ministerial committee.

Through the implementation of the plan, the ministry expects to increase the attractiveness of the province to national and international investors and the government’s partner organisations.

It predicted that innovative, smart and attractive tourism destinations would result.