The Cambodian city of Sihanoukville, popular for its casinos, wants to promote Chinese tourism to boost its economy.
Cambodia.- Provincial authorities have signed tourism agreements with 16 Chinese regions in an attempt to boost the economy in the coastal city of Sihanoukville, which is home to several casinos.
Preah Sihanouk province governor Kuoch Chamroeun announced the city has signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with 16 Chinese regional governments to boost investment in tourism, education, sports and culture.
The economy in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville has seen tremendous growth in recent years, mainly from Chinese travellers attracted to the city’s casinos.
According to VOA Cambodia, Chinese investment in Sihanoukville’s casinos, online gambling, tourism-related infrastructure projects and housing between 2016 and 2019 amounted to about US$2 billion.
A Cambodian ban on online gambling has slowed down interest since January 2019, while travel restrictions introduced because of Covid-19 have been felt hard in Sihanoukville, where Cambodia’s first coronavirus case was reported.
While casinos remain closed due to the pandemic, the goal is to allow Chinese business owners and workers to return to the city.