Koh Kong to Develop Tourist Infrastructure, Hopes to Attract More Visitors

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Koh Kong to Develop Tourist Infrastructure, Hopes to Attract More Visitors

Koh Kong, the southwestern province of Cambodia, one of the four coastal provinces, may soon catch up with the three neighbours – Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep provinces – in terms of tourist infrastructure – at least the local authorities are pushing investment to develop tourism-related sectors.

Koh Kong is located in the southwestern part of the country, close to the border with Thailand. Less than 300 km separate Koh Kong from the country's capital of Phnom Penh. While there is significant tourist traffic heading from Thailand further down south to Sihanoukville, few tourists decide to make a stop in Koh Kong. A greater part of the population of the province is engaged in fishing or cross-border trading, but the tourist potential of Koh Kong is considerable: it is a convenient gateway to the Cardamom mountains, an outstanding trekking and eco-tourism destination; the mangrove-estuary system of Koh Kong is the largest and most intact in Southeast Asia; and Koh Kong island offers one of the best beaches in the whole Asia.

The local initiative aiming at developing infrastructure, community-based tourism and accommodation is in unison with the government-led plan to bolster connectivity in the sea corridor, which extends from Koh Kong to Kep. A deep water port project is currently under development in Sihanoukville – and Koh Kong will definitely benefit from it, too. The national road 48 which connects Koh Kong to Phnom Penh, will soon become a four-lane road, and construction of a new local airport financed by Bangkok Airways is being discussed currently. While Koh Kong does not see similarly large investments as Sihanoukville does, the Chinese money is reaching there, too.

In 2018, Koh Kong welcomed 90,000 tourists, and the number is expected to reach 120,000 in 2020 and around 300,000 by 2030. 

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