New York Times has released their starter kit for escaping into the world, namely, through releasing their renowned list of the ‘52 places to go in the world’. The beaches of Sihanoukville ranked at number 13 on the list amongst other top destinations such as New Orleans in Louisiana taking the top spot, followed by Colombia, and Basilicata in Italy. - see Realestate.com.kh's The Ultimate Guide To Sihanoukville for a complete overview of Sihanoukville.
As the list eluded to, Cambodia has been notoriously famous for it's Angkor Wat Temples in Siem Reap - which still remain as the biggest tourist attraction in Cambodia. In 2015 Angkor Wat was labeled by Lonely Planet as the number one tourist destination in the world.
However, adorned with white sand beaches, accessible islands, a host of developments and new infrastructure initiatives in play- allowing for ease of access to the seaside province- it seems that Sihanoukville's tourism potential is garnering well deserved global attention.
Sihanoukville International Airport has been undergoing major renovations, whilst the construction of a new terminal promises to increase capacity to 500,000 passengers per year. Once completed, Sihanoukville Airport is set to be the kingdom's largest airport. Already new flight routes have been added, with ongoing international flights from China, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Further to this, Grand Union Group, the developer of Dara Sakor Seashore Resort Casino in Koh Kong received permission in 2017 to build another airport. Although Koh Kong is not directly in the province, it still represents another key point of access which is within a few hours driving distance to Sihanoukville.Construction is anticipated to commence on this airport in early 2018 and will involve a total investment of 500 million USD.
In terms of the hotel scene- both on the shoreline and the multitude of surrounding islands, including the popular Koh Rong, Koh Rong Sanloem, Koh Russey and Krabey Island- this has exploded over the last few years.
Of special note is Six Senses on Krabey Island, a mere 20-minute boat transfer south of Sihanoukville, and Alila Villas on Koh Russey, with both resorts opening in 2018. Both will offer the full island experience, with snorkeling, diving, and all other beach amenities for tourists to enjoy.
Besides hotels, the potential for mixed-use and residential developments has caught the eye of major international developers. D’Seaview, Blue Bay, The SeaGate Suite, Royal Bayview and Sunshine Bay are amongst the major projects which are currently under construction- and will bring luxury facilities, and a new skyline to the province.
In addition, infrastructure initiatives such as a direct highway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville improved internal roads, port expansions and Cambodia's largest Special Economic Zone (SEZ) are all factors contributing to Sihanoukville's status as a 'boomtown’ for attracting both tourists and investors alike.
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