Located in Kampot province’s Chum Kiri district, the Stung Phe Ecotourism Community was established in 2020 and just celebrated its second anniversary.

From its inception, the community has been made up of members of 15 local families, all of whom are direct and indirect beneficiaries of the ecotourism activities now offered there.

Choeun Bunlay, a community representative, said that the Stung Phe Ecotourism Community focuses on providing food service and showing the natural scenery to tourists.

However, since the establishment of this community-based tourism destination, he has observed a gradual change in the livelihoods of people in the community.

“After forming this tourism community in 2020, I observed that people who live in the village where there are street vendors down from National Road 41 to Stung Phe are making even more because tourists travel on this road to the community of Stung Phe every day, especially on holidays after work and national holidays,” Bunlay said.

“According to the average number of guests per day, we get 25 guests who come to visit our area but most of them are from nearby,” he added.

According to Bunlay, the average number of 25 visitors per day is enough to support the community and provide income.

“Our community can earn between 1.2 million to 2 million riel per month after managing to pay staff and other expenses,” he said.

Currently, there are about 10 people in the village who split their time between community tourism work and agriculture or factory work, making the tourism money a bonus rather than the main source of income for the villagers.

Other people are indirectly benefiting from selling their agricultural produce such as vegetables and livestock to feed the tourists at an affordable price.

For further development, he plans to build holiday cabins along the stream for visitors who wish to visit the natural area there and stay in comfort while enjoying the delicious cooking with fresh ingredients that the village prides itself upon.

“Our community will always try new ideas and work hard on our plans to make this ecotourism community a prosperous place that continues on a path of sustainable development,” Bunlay said.