The Kep Provincial Administration has created a working group to prepare a “beautiful beach” for tourists and transform the area to international tourism standards.

Kep governor Som Pisith told The Post local officials are paying attention to general safety and changing the bad habits of opportunists who seek to take advantage of tourists. He explained that local vendors have been placing chairs and mats on the beach and charging tourists who use them.

“After preparing the beach we must change their mindset and habits,” he said, adding vendors will be required to have permits.

Pisith said the beach will be ready not only for big events but also everyday activities.

Heng Siyong, owner of Kep’s Lim Keam restaurant, supported the plans and said all sellers have been advised about proper hygiene and not selling food at high prices.

Yun Phally, an investigator for rights group Adhoc in Kampot and Kep provinces, said maintaining order at the beach is key to attracting tourists.

“I have seen them [authorities] enforcing order at the beach because there have been dispute between officials and vendors who lay mats or erect tents and charge $10 to $20.

“What the authority has done so far is good for both tourists and vendors,” he said.