Although currently there are a lot of development projects for resorts and guesthouses on various islands off Cambodia’s coast, experts say it is not the right time for such developments.
Po Eavkong, managing director of Asia Real Estate Cambodia, said the development activities on islands in Cambodia’s sea seem to be quiet, although there has been a lot of activity recently.
So far only Song Saa island and Dek Koul island have been successfully developed, while other islands have only incipient projects, such as the massive Koh Puos development project, where recent information says the company developing that area is changing their manager and the design of the development.
Po Eavkong said “the development on those islands could have potential for the future but if you look at the domestic demand this time, it is not necessary and it is not the right time to develop housing on the islands yet. At present, there are a number of domestic flights to Sihanoukville, but those flights are not broadly available yet, and this is why the area has been unable to attract large developers yet.”
Po Eavkong added that development on islands requires a lot of money but if the demand is not adequate, the investors will not take risks. The development is also related to conditions such as security, safety, and infrastructure, power and water system for the living needs of the people.
Noun Rithy, the general manager at the Bunna Reality Group stressed that if those islands are resorts that have houses and commercial activities running well, a lot of people will go to live there, but if there is only housing or resorts, and have no commercial activities, people will not go to live there.
He said that “when there is a development with a clear strategic plan, there will be a lot of demand as well and if [you] want to attract a lot of people to live there, that place must have active commercial activities.”
Kuy Vat, president and CEO of VTrust Group said the development on islands will have great potential in the future but it requires the development to have good infrastructure and be well prepared before it can get a lot of support. “If there are development projects going gradually, it is good because they can start developing relaxing houses and villas gradually, while developing condominiums is not good this time,” he added.
He said “if there are only development projects for sale first and there are no actual development, those development activities will not be able to progress”.
Ho Vandy, co-chair of TWG, said that more than 30 islands have been granted concession by the government to private companies for development, but there are only a few islands that have been developed, such as Song Saa island, Koh Russey, Dek Koul island, Koh Tonsay and Koh Puos, but construction activities on these islands are not significant yet.
He said “it is not time for the development of construction such as condominiums, or villas. It requires a proper time because the people who have a lot of money don’t want to bury their money there. However, I would like to ask investors to comply with the law and do not take the beach to be their own private possession, and even though we want development, we also want the protection of the public interest”, he added.