Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ground breaks on project over most of Koh Tonsay

Ground breaks on project over most of Koh Tonsay

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The 184ha Koh Tonsay island, also known as Rabbit Island, is about 4.5km southeast from Kep town and renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, coral reef and vibrant marine life. Hin Pisei

Ground breaks on project over most of Koh Tonsay

Try Pheap Koh Tunsay Resorts Co Ltd’s 144ha development on Koh Tonsay island broke ground on September 27, accompanied by a Krong Peali Buddhist blessing ceremony.

The 184ha island, also known as Rabbit Island, is about 4.5km southeast from Kep town and renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, coral reef and vibrant marine life.

Kep deputy provincial governor Vao Sokha, who led a team to inspect the site last week, affirmed that the government in 2019 gave Try Pheap the right to invest in the development for 50 years. The total registered capital for the project is $130 million, he said citing company representatives.

However the company has yet to provide a timeframe for construction, he pointed out.

He told The Post on September 27 that Try Pheap is moving machinery to Koh Tonsay, boasting that the project would go a long way to improve the image of the province.

He explained that project plans entail sprucing up coastal areas, as well as building roads and other infrastructure around the island, a five-star hotel, bungalows, villages tailored to tourists and beach sport facilities.

“The Koh Tonsay investment project will play a big part in enhancing the image as well as economic growth of Kep province, and encourage tourists and investors to visit the site – a beautiful seaside tourist destination with potential in all areas,” he said.

The company has pledged to maintain 60 per cent forest cover on the island, as per government goals, Sokha said.

The official noted that a provincial technical team was nearly done with the impact resolution process involving potentially-affected villagers.

Electricity and water supply systems still need to be developed for the island, he said, noting that the government gave the nod to two firms back in 2009 to do just that, but stripped them of their licences in 2018 for inactivity.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin hailed the development as a welcome addition to travel agencies’ portfolio of tourism products and another venue of choice for holidaymakers that could encourage foreign guests to stay longer in the Kingdom.

While contending that Koh Tonsay’s unspoiled beaches and stunning natural beauty would add to the charm of the project, Sivlin stressed that the quality of services must be up to standards and that a strong system of law enforcement would be required.

She told The Post: “This project will enhance the appeal of the province for travellers, as recreational coastal tourism gains further momentum.”

The Council for the Development of Cambodia reported that the project comprises 568 five-star hotel rooms, 160 bungalows, facilities for motorboating, maritime entertainment venues and tourism ports.

A company representative told local media last week that the development would prop up the provincial tourism sector, touting the project as a new satellite city.

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