Plans have been unveiled for massive resort development just 500 metres south of the outer restricted zone surrounding Angkor Wat.
NagaGroup Global Limited, owned by Hong Kong firm NagaCorp Ltd, have acquired 75 hectares of land on a 50-year lease and plan to build a “non-gaming integrated resort (IR)” next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The development, provisionally called Angkor Lake of Wonder, is proposed to include hotels, a water theme park, an indoor hi-tech theme park, a non-motorised boating canal system, business facilities for meetings conferences and exhibitions.
There would also be Siem Reap China Town development offering street food, pubs, music and shopping. These would be integrated with gardens and water features and protected by an all-weather roof covering that “promotes natural ventilation and soft natural light.
Plans were also announced for a link road between the resort and Ankor Wat in what was called their aim “to promote the concept of NagaWorld and Angkor Wat as the twin tourism icons of Cambodia”.
“The investment is in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s master plan to entice more tourists to Siem Reap province. We will tally up a new tourism destination – a man-made cultural resort to enthral tourists and keep them here longer.”Sun Chamnan, Siem Reap Provincial Administration Director
The development would be based at the Slakram commune and would be bigger than the combined size of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Los Angeles.
NagaCorp owns the only licensed casino in Phnom Penh, NagaWorld, and is also currently developing a $4 billion Naga 3 project on the site of the former “White Building” in the Chamkarmon district in Phnom Penh.
“The Group intends to implement strategies of working with on-line and physical travel agents in China and elsewhere to offer tours based on more complete set of facilities based in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
The Group anticipates that tour groups shall visit Angkor Wat as an anchor attraction and then entertainment facilities being offered in NagaWorld Phnom Penh.”NagaCorp Ltd.
The Angkor Wat development is scheduled to be completed by 2025 and is part of a number of developments expected by the company in Cambodia.
Flyingdog Travel Comment
Tourism is incredibly important for the Siem Reap area and Cambodia is looking to increase tourism throughout the country.
This development is very concerning however due to its sheer size and proximity to Angkor Wat.
One of the attractions of the area to many tourists is the lack of large scale developments and the local feel still available in the town, even though it is now much more of a tourist town than in the past.
We felt that much of the charm in Chaweng on Koh Samui was lost when the Central Festival Shopping Mall was built. The Angkor Wat development would dwarf this and, in our view, completely change the “feel” of Siem Reap.
An added concern would be the potential added numbers of tourists coming into the area once the development is completed. Angkor Wat can already feel busy at peak times and adding thousands of more tourists will only put further pressure onto the area.
Hopefully there will be enough controls put into place to prevent these issues, however it seems that the tourist income brought into the area is likely to outweigh those concerns.
If you want to visit before the area is changed for ever, we suggest that you do it in the next four years.
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