Historian and travel industry experts believe the redevelopment of the Luong Preah Sdach Korn Heritage Site in Ponhea Kraek district into a cultural and historical resort will enhance tourism and sustainability in Tbong Khmum province.

Oeun Rith, director of the Tbong Khmum Provincial Department of Tourism, explained that the spot was a former capital before the Angkor era, featuring a 2,500sq m rampart at each corner.

“In the 16th century, King Korn established a pagoda and placed a black gold Buddha statue there,” he said.

The site’s redevelopment aims not only to promote tourism in the province but also to add to the Kingdom’s growing list of cultural and historical landmarks.

Sambo Manara, a history professor at Pannasastra University, suggested on September 12 that each province should establish attractions to draw visitors and create memorable landmarks for locals.

He explained that this particular region held significance as the location of a fort and palace for King Korn, who reigned for a short period after the decline of the Khmer Empire.

“The authorities should organise activities like the Water Festival and establish areas for cultural or religious ceremonies to better inform the public,” he said.

Manara highlighted the importance of developing cultural sites in the province, given that its history dates back to the 16th-century.

“The area has real significance. I fully support turning it into a specialised resort,” he added.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), also emphasised the benefits for the travel sector.

“Creating a cultural space at the location will help sightseers gain deeper insights into Cambodian history,” Vandy said.

Unlike some other types of resorts, historical sites provide long-term economic benefits, he added.

Vandy also suggested that maintaining the ground’s natural beauty and cleanliness would yield sustainable profits to both the vacation market and the national economy.