The Royal Group of Cambodia has unveiled its
visionary Master Plan to transform the pristine island of Koh Rong
into an environmentally planned resort destination.
A 6-month study was conducted by MAP Architects
of Hong Kong and environmental consultants Scott Wilson.
With a 5-year timetable for the first phase, and
ultimate completion in 25 years, the plan is one of the most
far-sighted visions in global hospitality.
“Some of world's top resort operators and 5-star
hotel groups are already eyeing early progress with keen
interest,” said Mr David Simister, Chairman of CBRE Thailand, the
exclusive advisor and sole agent for developing the island. “They
see it as the next big opportunity in a world where quality
tourism development options are shrinking. Since the project is
balancing ecological protection with minimum carbon footprint, we
are targeting forward looking investors within the region and
globally who share a mutual vision on ecological development and
who want to be part of creating Southeast Asia’s new resort
“Key to the eco-strategy is that all development
partners conform to recycling and low-energy use, with minimal use
of high-energy consuming materials,” Mr Clarke added. Even colour
schemes of various integrated projects are being restricted – to
“an eco-green theme with earth tones”.
The Master Plan has identified locations for a
range of 3-star to 5-star properties. “Although the island is
mostly a luxury destination, there will be something for
everybody,” said Mr Clarke.
An international airport in the centre of the
island will allow international flights by aircraft such as the
A320 Airbus, operated by charter airlines and carriers like Air
Asia, Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways.
Koh Rong is less than one hour’s flight
from Bangkok and HCMC, and approximately two hours from Hong Kong
A working seaport will service ferries,
equipment and supply shipments, and roll-on, roll-off operations.
A separate marina will accommodate pleasure
boats, yachts and cruise ships, with a boardwalk of boutiques,
restaurants, bars and guesthouses.
Three golf courses are ultimately envisaged in
the long-term, with the initial phase of development planned to
include a small 9-hole option.
To meet demand for fresh water, environmental
consultants Scott Wilson explored a number of options – from small
reservoirs and dams to tapping spring water from a deep aquifa
well beneath the island. “It will also be compulsory for
developers to trap rainwater on their roofs,” said Mr Clarke.
The sustainability vision extends to organic
farming and fish-husbandry projects to meet much of the island’s
demand for food produce – and provide employment for the island’s
indigenous fishing community, estimated at around 300 families.
This includes the possibility of an
international university-style educational project dedicated
entirely to environmental sustainability.
Koh Rong features an abundance of natural
attractions including coral reefs, tropical palms, rainforest,
waterfalls, sparkling turquoise waters and 28 pure white sand
beaches – including one of the most spectacular in the region
stretching 6 kilometres.
The Royal Group, one of Cambodia’s largest
corporations with substantial interests in property and
infrastructure development, has been granted a 99-year lease by
the Cambodian government to develop Koh Rong.
The eco-model for Koh Rong is the vision of its
tycoon chairman Kith Meng who said “Our national tourism to Siem
Reap is well developed with world famous Angkor Wat, but the
potential of the country's beautiful coastline is the missing link
in the overall development of Cambodia’s tourism.”
See other recent news regarding: