Cambodian tycoon Teng Boonma plans to develop a massive tourist resort on a popular beach in Sihanoukville, a government official has confirmed.
Chhun Sirun, CPP first deputy governor of Sihanoukville, said Teng Boonma, chairman of the Thai Boon Rong Group, has forwarded plans to build a five-story hotel and a nine-hole golf course on 90 hectares of land adjacent to Sokha Beach.
Sihanoukville City Hall received a letter from Thai Boon Rong and a letter of approval from the Council of Ministers about a month ago, giving the project the go-ahead, Chhun Sirun said. “I expect his company will do it. I met with him recently to discuss this project [and] it sounds true,” Chhun Sirun said.
Sihanoukville Governor Ith Detola, a Funcinpec member, said he had not heard of the plan, nor had he seen any activity on Teng Boonma’s land. “I did not see any letter from the company or the government concerning this issue. I would be the first person to see the project proposal,” he said. Teng Boonma told Rasmei Kampuchea (Light of Cambodia) newspaper—which is also owned by Thai Boon Rong—that his plans would go through, and that he was helping the development of the country. He did not specify a time frame for the development.
The resort would be worth “tens of millions of dollars,” the Associated Press reported, quoting an anonymous executive in one of Thai Boon Rong’s companies. Investment would come from “partners from mainland China,” the AP quoted the executive as saying.
Sihanoukville has been looking for ways to change its investment profile, and is eagerly attempting to draw international tourists. One way is to make Sihanoukville’s port able to receive world-class cruise ships. The first such ship, carrying about 200 tourists, arrived at the port in April.
The resort would be one way to increase the town’s international profile, Chhun Sirun said.