Ecotourism to be Developed in Cambodia's Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong Provinces

Waterfall in Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Kim Seng (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment plans to develop and establish ecotourism in protected areas of Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong provinces under the “Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project.” 

Areas that will potentially be developed include the Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park “Phnom Kulen”; the Oral Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Central Cardamom Mountain National Park; and the Tatai and Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuaries. 

Cambodia aims to diversify its tourist destinations and tourism products. Currently, tourism in the country is overconcentrated in Siem Reap Province, leading to imbalanced growth across provinces, and creating mounting pressure on the Siem Reap heritage sites. 

To further develop the project’s vision and investment plans, the Government held workshops in the three provinces from 30 January to 4 February attended by projects stakeholders, including community representatives, local authorities, provincial administrative working groups and representatives from the departments of environment; tourism; rural development; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; culture; and planning. 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in support of Cambodia’s tourism industry, recently approved the Community-Based Tourism COVID-19 Recovery Project. The $3.71 million project, with $3 million be financed by the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific, will work on (i) strengthening local capacity for community-based tourism development and promotion; (ii) supporting new and existing tourism and livelihood activities; and (iii) enhancing community-based public facilities and services. The project will concentrate on areas near the heritage Temple of Preah Vihear in Preah Vihear province and the Temple of Phnom Da in Takeo province. 

Last Updated: 23 February 2022