Cambodia’s Bold Moves to Revitalize Tourism and Real Estate

sihanoukville west lake area xihu skyscapers luxury real estate premium neighborhood

Cambodia’s Tourism has already revived and indeed is to break a record in 2024. In 2019 Cambodia had the highest number of tourists of all times. In 2023, it completely recovered and achieved the second highest numbers of all times. In 2024, it is even higher than 2023.

In a historic move poised to reshape the economic landscape of Cambodia’s coastal province, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Manet announced an ambitious special program to promote investment in Sihanoukville on January 31, 2024. This comprehensive initiative is part of a broader government strategy to transform Sihanoukville into a dynamic special economic zone, driving industrial development, stimulating economic growth, and revitalizing the region’s tourism and real estate sectors.

Infrastructure Developments Pave the Way

The recent completion of the express highway connecting Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville in 2023 has been a game-changer for the region. This state-of-the-art highway has significantly reduced travel time between the capital and the coastal province, making it a prime destination for both local and international tourists. The influx of visitors has breathed new life into Sihanoukville’s tourism industry, with increased accessibility encouraging more frequent trips and longer stays.

Complementing this development, AirAsia has launched domestic flights within Cambodia, connecting Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with Sihanoukville. This improved air connectivity has not only boosted tourist numbers but also facilitated business travel, further enhancing the province’s appeal as an investment hub. The ease of travel to and from Sihanoukville is expected to play a critical role in the success of the government’s new investment promotion program.

sihanoukville victory beach white sand
Xihu Casino Area- Prime Real Estate

The Special Program for Investment Promotion: A Closer Look

The “Special Program to Promote Investment in Sihanoukville 2024” is designed to address specific challenges and unlock the province’s full potential. It focuses on three primary categories of investment and business activities:

  1. Revival of Stalled Construction Projects: The program targets stalled construction projects with an array of incentives to encourage their completion. These include income tax exemptions and minimum tax relief for an additional three years, a 0% VAT exemption for construction and renovation, a five-year withholding tax exemption on real estate leases, and waivers on property taxes and administrative sanctions. This package aims to rejuvenate the landscape of Sihanoukville, turning unfinished buildings into vibrant commercial and residential spaces.
  2. Immediate Start of New Projects: For new investment projects unrelated to frozen constructions, the program offers streamlined procedures and incentives to kickstart activities in 2024. These measures are expected to attract fresh capital and innovative ventures to the province, fostering a new wave of economic activity and job creation.
  3. Expansion of Existing Investments: Existing projects looking to expand will benefit from specific criteria and support measures to be unveiled in 2024. This will ensure that current investors are encouraged to grow their operations, contributing to sustained economic development in the region.

To facilitate these initiatives, a special working group chaired by HE Dr. Hean Sahip, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, has been established. This group will act as a one-stop shop for streamlining the permit and license approval processes, ensuring that investors face minimal bureaucratic hurdles.

sihanoukville independence beach white sand beach

Transforming Sihanoukville’s Tourism and Real Estate Landscape

The strategic focus on reviving stalled construction projects is set to have a profound impact on Sihanoukville’s real estate market. The completion of these projects will not only improve the province’s skyline but also increase the availability of high-quality commercial and residential spaces. This transformation is expected to attract both domestic and international investors, driving up property values and stimulating further development.

The increased accessibility resulting from the new express highway and enhanced air connectivity is already delivering a high number of tourists from Phnom Penh and other parts of Cambodia. Sihanoukville’s beaches, casinos, and burgeoning nightlife are drawing more visitors than ever before. This surge in tourism is providing a much-needed boost to local businesses, from hotels and restaurants to tour operators and retail outlets.

Sihanoukville Beach
Saracen Bay, Koh Rong Samloem

Koh Rong, Sihanoukville’s idyllic island neighbor, is also reaping the benefits of these developments. The island’s pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters have always been a draw, but improved transportation links have made it more accessible to a broader audience. The increase in tourists has spurred investment in Koh Rong’s hospitality sector, with new resorts and leisure facilities springing up to cater to the growing demand.

A Promising Future

The Cambodian government’s proactive measures to promote investment in Sihanoukville are set to transform the province into a thriving economic and tourist hub. The strategic initiatives aimed at reviving stalled projects, encouraging new investments, and expanding existing businesses are expected to create a ripple effect, stimulating economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for local residents.

As the express highway and new flight routes continue to draw more visitors, Sihanoukville and Koh Rong stand on the brink of a new era of prosperity. With a revitalized real estate market, burgeoning tourism industry, and robust government support, Sihanoukville is poised to become a cornerstone of Cambodia’s economic future, offering unparalleled opportunities for investors and tourists alike.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings