Ecotourism project looks to lure visitors to isolated Mondulkiri
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 02:55:30 -0800 (PST)
Ecotourism project looks to lure visitors to isolated
Written by Nguon Sovan and May Kunmakara
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Local company plans to sink US$6 million into 100-hectare site around
Bou Sra waterfall, but rights groups remain sceptical about its impact
A CAMBODIAN infrastructure group, Sar Lar Co, has plans to develop the
area around Mondulkiri's Bou Sra waterfall in a bid to bring more
tourists to the isolated province.
But while provincial officials are pleased with the influx of cash,
others question whether local communities will benefit from the
"If the company has good policies to deal with the community, there
will not be a problem; but if the company does not discuss the project
with local people, they will not be happy," said Sam Sarun, deputy
director of the provincial Department of Tourism, adding that whether
local communities will gain from the development is the "big question"
Sam Sarin, coordinator for Cambodian rights group Adhoc in Mondulkiri
province, warned that residents there had been disappointed in the
past when there were no employment opportunities for community
But company officials say the development will provide a huge boost
for the area, tapping into the ecotourism potential of one of
Cambodia's most wild areas.
"We will construct motels, restaurants, souvenir shops, cable cars,
cottages," Ngin Sreoun, deputy director general of Sar Lar Co told the
Post, adding that the company has received a 99-year lease from the
"We aren't cutting down forests for the development; we are preserving
the area as an ecological and charming attraction," he said, adding
that the project would create about 100 jobs for ethnic minorities in
Sam Sarun welcomed the investment plan as a way to draw attention to
"It will be a modern tourism facility. ... The project development is
very big so I hope that it will attract a lot of local and foreign
tourists," he said.
Construction began Monday and is expected take up to five years to
complete, company officials said.
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