PHNOM PENH, 4 December 2014: Asian Development Bank has approved an USD18 million loan to build Kampot’s new ferry terminal and other infrastructure in southern Cambodia to open up new tourism sites.
ADB country director for Cambodia, Eric Sidgwick, said in a statement that the development of this passenger pier will support an increase in tourism in southern coastal areas and help establish a new gateway between southern Cambodia, Vietnam and other destinations in the Gulf of Thailand.
Construction on Kampot’s new ferry terminal is expected to begin next year. The pier will be located on 4 hectares of land between the border of Teuk Chhu district and Kampot City.
The project, which will take around five years to complete, complements similar initiatives being carried out in neighboring Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam.
It is part of a broader regional push to expand cross-border tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion, which has seen international visitor arrivals growing by an average of more than 12% a year and generating revenue of over USD44 billion, while providing about 7 million jobs.
Kampot governor, Khoy Khun Huor, told local media that the terminal would help stimulate economic activity in the province and promote tourism among neighbouring countries.
“We really need a tourism port to link the tourism industry of our three countries – Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. When it is finished, we can attract more tourists from not only from Vietnam but also from Thailand. It will serve as the tourism hub at this coastal area.”
Along with funding the construction of the ferry terminal, the project will finance upgrades to 6.5-km of rural roads and improve wastewater management in areas with well-preserved Khmer and colonial architecture, including Kampot province and seaside towns in Kep and Koh Kong provinces.
Kampot is a small town in southeast Cambodia and capital of the province with same name. It is a gateway to Bokor National Park, the old French hill station at 1,080-metre which can be visited as a day trip from Kampot or Sihanoukville.
The city is a quiet riverside town just a few kilometres from the Gulf of Thailand. Kampot is well-known for its famous black pepper, which is widely available in Cambodia. The town is also famous for its Kampot fish sauce and durian, not exactly the features that will draw thousands of tourists.