Community Members Granted Control of Tonle Bati

Takeo provincial authorities have put the Tonle Bati Resort, in the province’s Bati district, under the management of the local community after stripping the private company that had been in charge of the rural retreat of its license for failing to develop it.

So Mara, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism, said three local representatives have been chosen on behalf of the 168 families living in Kraing Thnong commune to manage the resort, which is located 35 km south of Phnom Penh.

The community will take over from Bati Tourism Development, which had its license revoked in mid-2014 after authorities acted on complaints that the firm was ripping off both vendors and visitors.

“This company controlled [the resort] for 17 years but they did not develop anything. They made the cake without using flour,” said Mr. Mara, explaining that the firm made money without any investment.

Community members accused the company of overcharging vendors for supplies and space, and charging an entrance fee to the Ta Prohm temple, which previously operated on donations.

“Now we don’t put a new company [in charge]. We want the people to manage it by themselves,” Mr. Mara said.

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