Investment continues to pour into Cambodia’s tourism sector and hospitality industry, setting an optimistic mood that the Kingdom will soon welcome back international visitors.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has approved local company Sun and Moon Hotel Co Ltd’s $35.2 million four-star hotel project in Phnom Penh.

The hotel will comprise 200 rooms and is expected to create 535 jobs, the CDC said in a press release on Wednesday.

It is located in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune on the northeast corner of Norodom and Monivong boulevards just north of the Monivong Bridge, which crosses the Bassac river and connects Monivong Boulevard to National Road 1 in Chbar Ampov district to the east.

Ann Sothida, the managing director of CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc, on Wednesday said the investment will improve the hospitality industry’s readiness for the expected surge in overseas visitors post-Covid-19.

She said this is the company’s second Western-style luxury hotel in the city centre, after Sun and Moon Urban Hotel on the southeast corner of the intersection of Street 136 with Street 15, in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Kandal I commune.

“I think it [the project] comes at the right time. And when the hotel market rebounds after the Covid-19 crisis, there will be no barriers for the company to expand in the market, given its professional experience. It will be very successful,” she said.

Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on Wednesday that the investment would further stimulate development in the tourism sector, despite the crippling effects of the pandemic.

The ministry has licensed a total of 2,044 hotel businesses in Cambodia, 343 of which operate in Phnom Penh, he said.

He expressed his optimism that in “the long-term, we will be back to normal for tourists after the Covid-19 situation subsides.”

In mid-April, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said the value of approved construction projects skyrocketed 47 per cent year-on-year to $1.996 billion in the first two months of this year, fuelled mainly by the housing development sector.

It said the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction issued construction permits to 728 projects in the first two months – up 28.1 per cent from 568 in the year-ago period – covering a total of 4.2 million square metres, up 34 per cent year-on-year.

The total investment in the Kingdom’s construction sector reached $11.43 billion last year, up 98.74 per cent compared to 2018’s $5.31 billion, said a land ministry report.