Emerging Indochinese Riviera in Cambodia

As tourism continues to flourish in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is on the eve of a renaissance. The Royal Group of Cambodia has already put into motion its vision to build Asia's "first environmentally planned resort island," dubbed the new Indochinese Riviera.

Coasts in Southeast Asia are not unlike the Caribbean, with warm, clear blue waters and white, sandy beaches. Cambodia's biggest business conglomerate, The Royal Group, is in the midst of developing the country's coastal tourism, transforming the untouched island of Koh Rong into an eco-resort. The plan is to have this island compete with heavy hitters like Phuket, Samui and Bali.

During the first four months of this year, tourism in Cambodia is up 9.87 percent. Visitor numbers topped 2 million a year for the last three years, which is up from half a million just a decade ago. In the same vein, hotel occupancy is up 64 percent, with tourism earring $1.5 billion annually. But only 7.15 percent of visitors last year touched the country's beaches. This is all slated to change.

Cambodia is just two hours from Singapore and Hong Kong and one hour from Bangkok. Plans for the Song Saa Private Island in the Koh Rong archipelago have already started to take shape and is due for completion in late 2011.

Visit www.royalgroup.com.kh.

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