DestinationsChinese investment driven by the Belt and Road Initiative has transformed the city

Once sleepy Sihanoukville is still a good bet for growth

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Land values, rents and condominium sales prices have skyrocketed in Sihanoukville.
Land values, rents and condominium sales prices have skyrocketed in Sihanoukville. Photo Credit: Aleksejs Bergmanis/GettyImages

BANGKOK - Cambodia’s ban of online gambling, driven by the Chinese government, has hit Sihanoukville’s tourism and real estate sector hard but C9 Hotelworks – in a report identifying the current and anticipated market dynamics at play – says the destination will ride out the downturn.

Ongoing construction of public infrastructure and development of Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) will likely contribute to stabilising development in the medium to long term, said C9 Hotelworks’ Bill Barnett.

Sihanoukville was originally a peaceful coastal village set in the southwest of Cambodia. In the past it attracted mostly Western tourists and was once a weekend getaway destination for locals.

However, starting in 2017 the dramatic inflow of Chinese investment driven by the Belt and Road Initiative has changed the seaside town completely.

Prior to 2016, only limited domestic and charter flights served Sihanoukville airport. The emerging market has drawn attention from various segments especially the gambling sector and brought hundreds of thousands of Mainland Chinese workers and investors to the city.

As of YTD Oct 2019, the city’s main getaway Sihanoukville International Airport hosted 602,755 passenger arrivals, which is a 266% y-o-y growth compared to the same period in 2018.

Land values, rents and condominium sales prices have skyrocketed during a three-year period due to the surging demand and massive development of the city.

Download the full C9 Hotelworks report at: https://www.c9hotelworks.com/news/new-c9-report-cambodias-coastal-gaming-boomtown.php

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