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Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

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Officials review plans to beautify beaches in Sihanoukville, where construction on a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach will begin later this year. Photo supplied

Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism.

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction issued a press release over the project on Friday after a meeting with the committee, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara and Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.

“[The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction] supports the establishment of a sacred tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province,” the press release said.

It said the tourist area will be located in Ream and Bit Traing communes in Prey Nop district. The area borders Sihanoukville, spanning some 3,081ha.

The area links to Otres Beach, Ochheuteal Beach and Preah Sihanouk international airport with a network of roads and new infrastructure being implemented by the government.

The press release said the area would become a model to develop tourism and benefit the economy and society.

It will aid the government’s strategic vision of turning Preah Sihanouk province into an administrative area of multi-purpose Special Economic Zones.

The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development said a tourism development project named Ream City would be within the Neak Reach tourist area on 834ha as proposed by Canopy Sands Development Co Ltd.

The press release said the Ream City project was estimated to cost up to $16 billion in investment capital. The site would become the iconic tourist area for the province to contribute to the development of the economy and provide jobs for locals.

The committee said the Ream City project would be divided into stages. The project starts early this year, including infrastructure and other construction such as hotels, restaurants, canteens, resorts, accommodations, meeting halls, conference halls, commercial and financial hubs and sporting centres.

Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak said on Monday that coastal provinces are vital to the tourism industry for the Kingdom.

“We want to turn our coastal areas not just into tourist destinations but also multipolar economic goals. The areas can attract investors and tourists, and other infrastructure development to serve the Cambodian economy,” he said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Kong Vitanak said on Monday the project to develop the sacred tourist area Neak Reach would start this year.

“According to meeting results, the implementation of the project starts soon in 2020. The development company requested that the government support the implementation of the project. Now the government agrees to support this project,” he said.

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