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Siem Reap real estate players upbeat for revival of tourism

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Preparations are underway for the gradual reopening of tourism in the fourth quarter of 2021, with an initial focus on welcoming fully-vaccinated international visitors to the Angkor area in Siem Reap province. Hong Menea

Siem Reap real estate players upbeat for revival of tourism

Real estate players are quite excited by the market opportunities that lie ahead for Siem Reap province, amid an ambitious road construction project and preparations for the gradual reopening of tourism in the fourth quarter of 2021, with an initial focus on welcoming fully-vaccinated international visitors to the Angkor area in the northwestern province.

In November, the government disbursed about $150 million to build and revamp 38 roads in the province, with a total length of 108.74km. The project also covers development of rainwater drainage network and flood protection systems, sidewalks for the disabled, bicycle lanes, car parks, traffic and other signs, security camera systems, trees, gardens and light poles.

And early in April, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to consider opening the door to the Angkor area in October-December for international tourists who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Key Real Estate Co Ltd founder and director Sorn Seap told The Post on June 16 that the real estate market in the province, especially in Siem Reap town, will recover from the end of 2021 onwards, though at a pace dependent on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He contended that a rapid improvement in the pandemic would lead to a simultaneous rebound in transaction activity and prices, but if the situation continues for too long, the price recovery will precede the pick-up in transactions.

“The real estate market in Siem Reap will improve from the end of this year, as road and infrastructure activities, as well as the opening-up to welcome foreign tourists, influence this market,” Seap said.

In a research report released last month, Key Real Estate said Covid-19 has reduced transaction volumes in Siem Reap town, and brought down land prices to an average of $1,520 per square metre as of end-2020, down by about 5.0 per cent year-on-year from $1,600.

Global Real Estate Association president Sam Soknoeun said prices and transactions had seen some resurgence as the 38-road project forges ahead, and that growth will accelerate from end-2021, fuelled by the project’s completion and the expected return of international tourists.

This, coupled with the construction of a new airport and lower market prices that in Sihanoukville could bring a swift recovery, he said. “Transaction volumes and property prices in Siem Reap town will pick back up by the end of this year,” he said.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Sotheayuth Heang said the 38-road project was 56.59 per cent complete as of June 16, with work continuing at a steady rate and on track to be completed by end-2021, even as the Kingdom grapples with Covid-19 and goes hammer and tongs to close the “February 20 community event” – the Kingdom’s third community outbreak first identified on this date.

“All road construction projects of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport are progressing according to plan,” he claimed, adding that Siem Reap town’s roads will play an important role in attracting many tourists and investors to the epicentre of traditional Cambodian culture.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) president Chhay Sivlin said growth in the tourism industry sparks gains in other sectors. “We really want the sector to resume,” she said.

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