PHNOM PENH, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Wednesday broke ground for the construction of the first international tourism port in the coastal province of Kampot.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the four-hectare port is being developed in Chhum Kreal commune of Tek Chhou district under a loan of 8 million U.S. dollars from the Asian Development Bank.
"The port will improve tourism in the province by connecting seaborne tourists from Thailand and Vietnam," he said in a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Svay Sovath, director of administration bureau of the Kampot Provincial Tourism Department, said it will be the first seaport specifically designed for tourist vessels in the kingdom.
"The port will play an important role in attracting more tourists and investors to this coastal province," he told Xinhua, adding that the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
The Southeast Asian nation has a pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep.
Besides, it has three world heritage sites, namely the Angkor archeological park in northwestern Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple in northwestern Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk archeological site in central Kampong Thom province.
Tourism is one of the four sectors supporting Cambodia's economy. Last year, the country received 5.6 million foreign tourists including 1.21 million Chinese, earning gross revenue of 3.6 billion U.S. dollars.
The country is projected to welcome up to 7 million international tourists with anticipated revenue of 5 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.