The beach in Kep municipality may soon get bigger, government officials said Tuesday.
Vao Sokha, Director of Land Management in Kep, said an inter-ministerial study was underway to determine the feasibility of extending Kep’s narrow strip of beach by 300 to 500 meters into the sea along 26 km of coastline.
“It is a very good plan that we expand the coastline to get more beach. This will attract more tourists to the region,” he said. The Ministry of Environment is also overseeing an environmental impact assessment of the plan, which if approved could see dredging begin after the national election next year.
The planned beach expansion is one part of a broader government effort to upgrade Kep, which is a popular vacation spot for Cambodians and foreigners alike.
Vao Sokha said that Kep town is also expanding its tiny port, so more tourists can visit nearby Rabbit Island, which lies just off the coast.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon welcomed the planned beach expansion.
“We need a bigger and wider beach with more tourism infrastructure to make Kep a better attraction for tourists,” he said.
Neou Bonher, the deputy director of the Ministry of Environment’s Natural Conservation Department, said the environmental impacts of the plan must be considered seriously.
“Along the coastline, there are mangroves and creatures that we will have to protect,” he said. “Any development should not affect those things,” he added.