Kep won’t have casinos, government promises

Phnom Penh--Government master plan sees coastal province as relaxing high-end tourism destination. Minister also seeks to promote Kep to retirees and older tourists.



Tourism Minister Thong Khon says the government plans to turn the southern coastal province of Kep into a relaxing high-end tourist destination with no casinos.



In a Facebook post earlier this week, the minister said the government had assigned the Ministry of Tourism to study a master-plan to develop and transform the province.



“Developing Kep as a relaxing high-end tourism destination includes the town, beaches, islands, markets, tourist ports, villages and other tourism businesses and resorts,” he said. “But there will likely be no construction of casinos or factories.”  



Thong Khon also called for promoting Kep as a "second-home destination” for retirees and older tourists.



He said the government’s decision on Kep’s development was made during a meeting of the Economic and Financial Policy Committee last week. 



Thong Khon said the government had also decided to develop Kampot Province as a “cultural heritage and agro-tourism site.”



Koh Kong would be transformed into an eco-tourism site, he said, noting that Sihanoukville was already a regular tourism destination and multi-purpose economic zone.



The minister’s comments on Monday coincided with growing concern that a flood of investment from China could turn other coastal provinces into new gambling destinations.


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