The Preah Sihanouk provincial authority and private sector has welcomed a $48.7 million investment in a new five-star hotel, which observers note will better equip the province to serve tourist arrivals in the years to come.
The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) on May 5 gave JinBei Palace Co Ltd the nod for its 195-room venture in Sihanoukville's Commune IV.
Provincial Department of Tourism director Taing Sochet Kresna welcomed the project, saying that the tourism situation in Preah Sihanouk will improve significantly after Covid-19 has been brought under control, and further benefited by what he said are the often thoroughly-researched locations of investment projects.
"With the investment of this five-star hotel, I hope Preah Sihanouk will soon be able to attract more tourists and major international investors," he said, adding that JinBei Palace is currently investing in a number of hotels in Sihanoukville.
Oem Senghou, a branch manager at Sihanoukville-based Century 21 Zillion Holding, a sub-franchise of real estate agency Century 21 Cambodia, told The Post that the investment would have a positive impact on the real estate sector, as a driving force of the Preah Sihanouk market teeming with buying, selling and renting activity.
He said the increase of investments in five-star hotels signals the future arrival of tourists and high-yield investors. The sector will get a huge shot in the arm with the entry of high-rolling guests.
"JinBei Palace Co Ltd's investment in such a high-end hotel can confirm the strength of the tourism and real estate markets in Sihanoukville as a whole," he said.
The February 20 community outbreak of the novel coronavirus has paralysed Sihanoukville's real estate market, he said. In the period prior, land in the provincial capital's commercial areas was valued at $1,800-3,500 per square metre, and $250-300 in suburban residential areas, according to Senghou.
He said land at the proposed location for the hotel could cost around $2,000 per square metre.
According to Sochet Kresna, there were 107 hotels in the province before the government banned online and arcade gambling as of January 1, 2020, and now only around 30 remain in operation.