Six solar panels that will power essential appliances were installed at Phnom Chomroksat community-based ecotourism in Steung Treng province last week. The panels aim to enhance tourism services through the adoption of renewable energy. The installation was supported by WWF-Cambodia, said the NGO, on June 22.

According to WWF, the community is located 40km from the provincial Town of Stueng Treng. It is not yet connected to the national grid, which led to several challenges, including a lack of refrigeration, which led to guests’ dissatisfaction with food quality and service.

The community aims to attract visitors due to its proximity to signature attractions like mountain caves, waterfalls and rivers, and as the habitat of many birds and bats. Due to its lack of electricity, the site could only welcome visitors for as limited time.

Thanks to the installation of solar panels, cooking facilities, and a full-service restaurant, community-based ecotourism members can now store food and provide more comforts to visitors.

“This will potentially increase income and provide direct and indirect benefits to the more than three thousand people of the community,” explained the WWF.

"The solar system and all the appliances are working well. We really appreciate this. Now we have more confidence that we can provide good service to tourists. The visitors are happy, and say they will visit us again in the future,” said community leader Ming Ratha.

According to the WWF, the initiative is a part of its Cool and Solar programme, which with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, aims to enhance community tourism services through the adoption of renewable energy practices and the promotion of green tourism in Cambodia.

It said the programme also provides entrepreneurship training for community members, especially women and people living with disabilities, including the provision of knowledge and skills for energy, finance, human resource development, marketing, and hospitality management.