Tourism

Cambodia’s Untapped Tourism Potential

Cambodia is home to a wealth of untapped tourism hotspots that have the potential to be a huge investment draw into the future.
Tourists visit Phnom Dos Kramom in Mondulkiri province on November 14, 2021. Picture: Sam
Tourists visit Phnom Dos Kramom in Mondulkiri province on November 14, 2021. Picture: Sam

Cambodia’s abundance of untapped coastline and border towns have the potential to make it a tourism hotspot within the next five years, a business executive predicts.

As Angkor Wat is the country’s main attraction, the problem is that tourists do not return after one visit, said Edward Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Prince Real Estate.

Lee, who spoke at Real Estate Expo 2022 in Phnom Penh’s Premier Center Sen Sok on Sunday, added that when people do not return it is not necessarily a disadvantage.

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Edward Lee speaks at Real Estate Expo 2022 in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Penh Chamroeun
Edward Lee speaks at Real Estate Expo 2022 in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Penh Chamroeun

“It is an advantage. It’s still untapped, it’s still developable. We can still create the opportunities that a lot of developers and investors want, I still have opportunities to come in and do some tourism-related [projects] before it's too commercialized, before it's too developed,” Lee said.

Lee said that Prince has been working with the government to promote Cambodia to the outside world.

“Cambodia’s tourism, if the cards are played right and promoted correctly, will attract people. When tourism comes, what happens next?” he said, adding that tourism-related investors and developers will follow.

This will lead to new infrastructure, including hotels, and jobs will be created for young Cambodians, resulting in a new middle-class in the country, he said.

Cambodia’s tourism was hit hard in 2020 and 2021 by the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused many businesses to close their doors. The pandemic also led to a loss of employment in the industry.

In May, Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance and Chairman of the National Committee for Tourism Development, inaugurated the “Tourism Rehabilitation Project” with a total budget of $150 million. A total of $75 million came from the government and the rest from banks.