Kampot’s new seaport to boost city’s property market

Picturesque Kampot. The port development will attract new residents and tourists.
Picturesque Kampot. The port development will attract new residents and tourists. Vandy Muong

Kampot’s new seaport will boost the local property sector by creating jobs and attracting tourism to the provincial centre. With ground already broken and construction likely to begin in earnest in November, Post Property gives readers their first look at what the upcoming facility will look like.

Part-funded with a $9 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Kampot’s new port facility will be located about six kilometres south-east of Kampot town, in Tek Chhou district’s Chhum Kreal commune. It will generate jobs as well as further investment in local infrastructure. It’ll boost the local property sector too. The construction of the new pier will begin in November, pending approval from the Touism department and ADB, according to the director of Kampot’s tourism department.

Kampot looks set for an economic boost.
Kampot looks set for an economic boost. Vandy Muong

Soy Sinol, director, Kampot tourism department, said members of his department’s staff were responsible for researching the project. A key reason for their excitement is the prospect of the seaport attracting real estate developers, as these kinds of projects generally do.

They found that the new pier, and the crowds of tourists it will likely attract, will need the support of improved infrastructure. Bringing the full project to fruition will require developing new roads, bridges, and residences. The department anticipates real estate values in the area will rise once the project is complete.

Tourism ministry figures show that Kampot hosted 160,000 international tourists in 2014. “We expect even more tourists (both domestic and international visitors) in 2018,” Sinol said. “The new pier in Kampot will be built on four hectares (ten acres) of land. The whole project will cost around $10 million.”

The Kampot tourism department knows just how big a boost the pier could give to the local economy in terms of business and property development. “I think the investment will benefit the people here, and their skills,” said Sinol.

As incomes rise in highly populated nations such as China and India, tourism destinations across Asia are investing heavily to attract the new business. Sinol said having an immigration checkpoint at Kampot is essential to bring in visitors from neighbouring countries. “It is important to have a strategy that includes a national border checkpoint, allowing ferry traffic between Kampot and neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.”

The proposed ferry terminal in Chhum Kreal.
The proposed ferry terminal in Chhum Kreal. Photo supplied

The director also said the new pier will be the first dedicated to travel and tourism in Cambodia, and will improve the local economy. “Interest from international tourists will grow, so we have to be prepared to develop the region.”

“As far as I know,” he continued, “the water in the area has a depth of five or six meters, which is accessible to passenger ferries, but not to large ships,” Sinol added that, “The pier will not only facilitate incoming traffic to Kampot but also to Kep, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong province.

“Today, we have guest houses and bungalows but we do not have any luxury hotels or high-rise buildings, which are necessary for tourists in the future.” He added, “We plan to invest in a lot of new projects, such as a bridge system, a water system, an electricity system, and other developments.”

According to ADB, the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth project will finance the Ministry of Tourism to build the tourism port in Kampot province.

The Ministry of Tourism prepared the design for the master-plan of this project with the assistance of consultants. The project is scheduled to start construction later this year, and will take two and a half years to build, according to an official.

The proposed ferry terminal in Chhum Kreal.
The terminal aims to attract foreign visitors. Photo supplied

Ho Vandy, president, World Express Tour Agency, told Post Property that the pier will make an attractive port of entry for travellers.” This pier will be clean, and will ensure the security of tourists and passengers in this maritime and coastal zone. It will connect them to neighbouring countries.”

The local Tourism department believes that the development will also prompt an environmental clean-up in the local area.

The pier construction project is located about six kilometres southeast of Kampot town, in Tek Chhou district’s Chhum Kreal commune.