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Preah Sihanouk eyes sea festival by year’s end

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A view of Otres beach. More than 9km of beaches will be reserved for citizens and tourists to enjoy during the planned festival. Heng Chivoan

Preah Sihanouk eyes sea festival by year’s end

The Ministry of Tourism plans to host a sea festival in Preah Sihanouk at the end of the year if the Covid-19 pandemic eases, said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun.

On Tuesday, the two officials led a meeting with related parties and inspected locations for the sea festival. They also advocated measures to strengthen tourism by making it safer and offering better services to tourists.

Khon said: “If the Covid-19 situation improves and the government allows it, the ministry will organise a sea festival at the end of 2020.

“This would be one of our measures to strengthen tourism services, ensure safe tourism and inform international tourists that Cambodia is still a safe destination with improved services.”

Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said the government will allow the sea festival to be organised in December, but a specific date has not been decided.

“We normally celebrate this festival at the end of the year and the government will allow it this year,” he said.

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said the festival would offer entertainment and exhibitions at Preah Thong Neang Neak Circle in Bit Traing commune, Prey Nop district.

More than 9km of beaches will be reserved for citizens and tourists to enjoy.

“On the beach, we can organise various entertainment activities. We are waiting for national and provincial committees to cooperate on the plan. Then we will announce it to the public,” he said.

At the meeting on Tuesday, Khon requested provincial departments to prepare public toilets, improve tourist facilities, increase access to tourism information and organise training for tourism professionals.

On June 9, Chamroeun prepared 20 areas along a 9km stretch of public beaches to be outfitted with public toilets.

Each location will house 10 to 20 toilets as well as showering rooms. Shops selling drinks and swimming gear will be allowed at some locations.

Chamroeun said: “While the concrete roads are being constructed, we decided to install the system [for toilets]. If we build public toilets in the future, the water from the toilet will not flow into the sea.

“Due to financial reasons, we cannot decide now when they will be completed. In this upcoming period, we can only install the pipes. We plan to prepare 20 places starting from Ochheuteal Beach.”

Preah Sihanouk is currently constructing 34 priority roads measuring 82.5km divided into boulevards, streets and small streets.

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