April 5, 2022
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday inaugurated 38 roads with a total length of 108 km in the cultural town of Siem Reap, gateway to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park.
The thoroughfares, equipped with street lamps, traffic lights, and security cameras, totally cost 150 million U.S. dollars. The construction began in November 2020 and completed early this year.
Hun Sen said the roads, together with the Chinese-invested Siem Reap Angkor International Airport scheduled to be put into operation in late 2023, will give a big boost to the development of tourism in Siem Reap province during the post COVID-19 pandemic era.
“COVID-19 has disrupted us, but it cannot stop us from developing our nation,” he said in a speech live broadcast on the state-run National Television of Cambodia (TVK). “The fruit of peace has allowed us to develop the nation everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Hun Sen named Siem Reap province as the rising star of the North thanks to the newly built infrastructure in the town and the new international airport.
Siem Reap is home to the famed Angkor Archaeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992.
Hun Sen foresees that a large number of foreign tourists will visit the 401-square-km park in the future as the Southeast Asian nation has reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine and most of the kingdom’s population have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The number of international visitors to the park has recovered in the first quarter of 2022 after Cambodian borders were reopened to fully vaccinated travelers quarantine-free in November last year, a government report said, adding that it received 19,840 foreign tourists during the January-March period this year, up 342 percent from the same period last year.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cultural site attracted up to 2.2 million foreign tourists in 2019, generating a gross revenue of $99 million from ticket sales, the report said.