After many delays in its construction launching, a break ground ceremony was hosted on August over a new international seaport in Kampot along the Cambodia coast. The future seaport will see ferry lines connecting the province to neighbouring Phu Quoc in Vietnam and later to Thailand.
Originally planned to start during the third quarter of 2017, construction of a much-awaited seaport in the coastal province of Kampot in Southern Cambodia only start in August of this year. It is considered an important development for both the industry and the tourism industry as the future seaport will help in building up new maritime connections with Vietnam and Thailand.
The facility is being built with a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank representing US$10 million. The future ferry port is located about 6 kilometres from the provincial capital on a land area of four hectares in the district of Teuk Chhou. The construction of the facility which includes the ferry and cruise terminal, a pier and will take about two-and-a-half years to be completed. Additional funds have been also provided to upgrade rural roads to national roads and allow future busses and cars to come into the port area.
Once completed, the new facility would be able to service cruise ships from neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand and considered a major step to improve connectivity with neighbouring countries along the Gulf of Siam, stated Cambodia Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who presided over the groundbreaking ceremony last week.
“Waterway transportation is also a tourist attraction. The government has been focusing on developing these waterways to promote tourism in the coastal areas and the Southern Tourism Corridor,” the minister said.
Tourism in Kampot
The Governor of Kampot province, Cheav Tay, said to expect seeing an increase in tourism in the coast once it is in operation,” he said. The terminal will be able to accommodate up to 300 passengers at once.
From the 5.6 million international tourists recorded in 2017 in Cambodia, some 740,000 went to the coastal area of the Kingdom, an increase of 21% over 2016. Kampot province alone attracting some 162,000 travellers. If domestic tourists are included, the Cambodian coast welcomed last year over 3.2 million travellers.
Most of the tourists to the South of Cambodia stay only in Sihanoukville -particularly Chinese travellers. The city has been transformed in recent years of a pure beach destination into an entertainment spot with many casinos and nightclubs. Kampot remains, however, more intimate as tourists come to enjoy its relaxed pace of life and one of the best preserved French colonial architecture in Cambodia. Some locals, however, fear that the ferry will generate interests from real estate companies- once again mostly from China- which could alter the nonchalant character of the little town. It is the time to visit Kampot before big transformations take place…