Angkor theme park, Siem Reap ‘smart city’ to boost Cambodia tourism

Cambodia’s Siem Reap province is looking to be less reliant on the Angkor Wat temples for tourism, with plans for several huge infrastructure projects.

Few places in Asia are more synonymous with cultural tourism than Siem Reap, the Cambodian town having been the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park for many years before becoming a destination in its own right.

Siem Reap’s economy has been devastated by Covid-19 but, with large-scale infrastructure projects in the pipeline, its long-term future – one that will be less reliant on the Unesco-listed Angkor Wat temple complex – seems assured.

From provincial settlement to cosmopolitan money-spinner, “Temple Town” witnessed a meteoric rise in the 2010s as visitors succumbed en masse to its riverside charm, chic boutiques and warm hospitality. Although traveller numbers were already declining in 2019, nothing in Siem Reap’s short history has shaken its tourist industry like the Covid-19 pandemic.

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