Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km southeast of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week.
The project is now planned to be finished by March 31, more than four months beyond the initially scheduled mid-November completion date, ministry deputy director-general for tourism development Sok Sokun said, blaming the delay on the Covid-19 crisis and “climate issues”.
The project is expected to further prop up the Cambodian tourism sector, especially around Kampot travel hotspots and those in nearby coastal provinces, he enthused.
Sokun noted that development of the quay was financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB), which he said has agreed to a June 30 deadline, three months after the expected date of completion.
Breaking ground on August 8, 2018 and implemented by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport’s project management unit, the quay is part of an ADB-funded tourism infrastructure development project for sustainable growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), he said.
He emphasised that the quay would “be an important international port that connects Kampot on the southern coast of Cambodia to the world”.
Provincial Department of Tourism director Soy Sinol told The Post that Kampot International Tourism Port would greatly contribute to enticing sightseers from neighbouring countries to visit the Kingdom, once the Covid situation has improved enough.
He lamented that Kampot had always been a bit lacking in the area of waterway passenger transport, but voiced hope that with the quay up and running, more tourists would consider is as their port of entry into the province, which he said boasts a diverse range of attractive tourist destinations and wide choice of accommodation.
ឋPacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan welcomed the project, saying the lack of ports in the Kingdom has impeded the development of many of its islands.
He echoed Sinol’s comment that the project would allow more regional and international travel to the Kingdom, saying a concrete government plan to add routes between the quay and other islands would further enhance prospects.
“Whether there are two or three [ports], they are important – the more we have, the better, because they increase the flow of traffic, boost the incomes of the people, and spur the economy to another level.
“Apart from domestic connections, we should seek more tourism cooperation with Vietnam and Thailand, which would be even better,” he said.