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Cambodian beach resort faces government makeover

Feb 17. 2016
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Phnom Penh - Guesthouses and beachfront restaurants in the popular Cambodian beach resort of Otres are to be demolished to make way for an unspecified government development, local businesses said Wednesday.
Around 10 kilometres south of the busier resort town of Sihanoukville, Otres is known for quiet white sand beaches, and low-key bars.
The government on Friday served 30-day eviction notices on all businesses within 50 metres of the high-tide line, affecting most beachfront establishments in Otres and nearby Occheuteal.
The government plans to "develop the beaches and wants to improve and take care of the environment," the Cambodia Daily reported Wednesday.
Local business owners said no further information was given.
No compensation will be offered since the buildings are on public land, the report said.
Property rules are murky in Cambodia, where records were destroyed during the communist Khmer Rouge era between 1975-1979, and many rental and ownership agreements remain informal.
Local officials said the private developments in Otres were not licensed.
"The authorities have tried to prevent them (from building) for along time, but they just keep on building," Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yon Min told the Cambodia Daily.
"If we could even get until the end of the season, most business owners would be happy," said Micky Drudi, the English co-owner of the Otres beachfront bungalow Papa Pippo hotel, 30 metres from the high-tide line.
Nitika Cole, office manager at the Secret Garden hotel, said that the beaches were kept clean, and warned that local suppliers, drivers and other service providers could become unemployed because of the government move.

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