With less than nine months until the country hosts the 32nd SEA Games 2023 - which is tied into a number of key transport and infrastructure projects - there should be a massive impact on tourism and investment with media attention shifting to the country over the coming year.
Cambodia is hosting the SEA Games for the first time in its history from May 5-17 2023, and a variety of sporting events will take place in a number of cities. Together with the 12th ASEAN Para Games, which are scheduled for June 2023, the organising committee has confirmed that Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep, and Kampot province will be used.
At the most recent SEA Games held in Vietnam, nearly 5,500 athletes from 11 countries were involved across 526 events in 40 sports. Cambodia has suggested hosting even more activities with 40+ sports and potentially a record number of events - 632!
Cambodia will also host the 2029 Asian Youth Games, so what impact can we expect the Games to have on the residential and commercial areas being utilised for the events, especially in the capital of Phnom Penh?
Phnom Penh will be the SEA Games Hub
The capital will be the centre of attention for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, especially the new Morodok Techo National Stadium which is located in Chroy Changvar. It will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies, but a number of sports venues and facilities will be utilised.
The National Olympic Stadium and the OCIC Chroy Changvar Exhibition Hall are also expected to be used and the total government budget is around USD $30 million for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.
Vath Chamroeun and CAMSOC have said the Sports Athletes Village at the stadium will house between 5,000 - 7,000 people, while the main stadium will host a variety of sports such as football and athletics and has a capacity of 60,000, while there is also a 3,000-capacity aquatic centre, and a 5,500-capacity multi-sports gymnasium and a training hall.
Athletes' villages developed for the previous Olympic Games in Beijing, Athens, and London all became residential communities following their respective Games.
This focal point will be key for attracting investment opportunities and potentially international and regional buyers in the property market. Showcasing the latest and upcoming developments via online portals such as realestate.com.kh will ensure overseas and domestic buyers have access to the best-consolidated selection of properties in the country.
Thomas O’Sullivan, chief executive of realestate.com.kh has said previously that the Southeast Asian Games will put Cambodia firmly on the map. “We know that when someone travels to a foreign country, they may consider buying property there. We believe now is a really good time to get into the market.” Over recent years, buyers and investors have come from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Europe and Australia.
Which Developments Will Benefit from SEA Games 2023
Some of the developments in Phnom Penh set to benefit from the SEA Games are:
The latter is located within the boundaries of the Morodok Techo National Stadium over eight hectares of land and is only situated a 15-20 minute drive away from the capital’s CBD. There are already four bridges that can be accessed to reach the development and the stadium. WorldBridge Sports Village incorporates shopping areas, entertainment & leisure areas, sports areas, and residential areas.
The area is also home to Safari World, Water Park, the 18-hole Garden City Golf Club course (27 additional holes are under development), with many more amenities that have sprung up in the area in recent years in anticipation of the Games.
Other Cambodian Cities Expected to host SEA Games 2023 events:
- Siem Reap - Expected to host the cycling competition.
- Sihanoukville - Expected to host water-based events such as sailing and jet skiing.
- Kep - Might host the triathlon.
- Kampot - Anticipated to host canoe, kayak, and possibly other boating competitions.
SEA Games - Short and Long-Term Benefits
Sothavatey Mom, Country Manager for FazWaz Cambodia thinks hosting the Southeast Asian Games will yield both short and long-term benefits. “In the short term some industry sectors such as hotels and accommodation, restaurants and bars will benefit immediately from the influx of visitors, media and athletes. The property market will benefit in the long-term - this will happen due to the exposure from the international media in the build-up to and during the Games and the international audience and visitors that are expected to attend in Cambodia including corporate sponsors.”
Other countries that have hosted events like the Olympic Games, SEA Games, or FIFA events have yielded an uptick in international investments as global investors take notice of the host nations, and for developing nations like Cambodia that are put in the spotlight, it's a great opportunity.
Mom believes Phnom Penh is set to be the main beneficiary and she identifies the areas around the Royal Palace, riverside, and similar commercial areas to benefit from property sales, as well as the vicinity around the Stadium which will have the highest foot traffic.
“Chroy Changvar should continue its growth momentum with low rise developments for the next decade and along National Road N6. I think most purchases will be condos and office investments in the short term but in the long term, as the demand for people to live in the area beyond the stadium grows, there will be more diverse developments.”
CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun seems to agree on the importance of the exposure, “We want all countries to notice our sporting potential. When they arrive, they will see the extent of our infrastructure and note the changing face of Phnom Penh. Our development has progressed smoothly under the shadow of peace, bringing economic stability and good security. Those who see it will describe the true Cambodia to the world.”
As someone who loves sports, but also wants the Kingdom to continue its upward journey, I can't wait to see how the next year unfolds - and we all should hope that Cambodia and its people are excellent hosts.