Siem Reap will be home to a $70-million aquarium and wildlife sanctuary project that seeks to become a new tourist draw for the province.
Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium, a joint venture of Cambodian, Japanese and US investors, announced the project on Monday during a meeting with Siem Reap’s governor Tea Seiha.
Roger Reynolds, member of the board of directors at Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium, said the project will comprise freshwater and saltwater fish displays as well as a wildlife sanctuary.
The project will be located on 100 hectares on land in Sout Nikom district.
“The project will provide employment for many local people,” Mr Reynolds said.
“It is divided into three phases. Phase 1 will use $20 million. Construction of this phase will start in March and will be operational by the end of 2020.
“Besides helping to develop the national economy, the project will educate local and international visitors about the environment and the conservation of natural resources by introducing guests to rare aquatic species so that they can see and understand the natural resources of the country,” Mr Reynolds said.
Mr Seiha said Siem Reap welcomes the project.
“The company must now cooperate with relevant departments and authorities to move forward. It must review the location of the project to avoid delays in construction in the future and it must ensure it adheres to the law.”