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Beer festival plan to rejuvenate Kampot tourism

Scarlett Green / Khmer Times Share:

A hotel in Kampot city is aiming to attract domestic tourism to the area amid the pandemic by holding a beer festival.

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The all-day event, hosted at Monkey Republic Kampot, will be held on January 30 and from 12pm onwards merrymakers can enjoy a variety of craft beers from Cambodian breweries, a BBQ, two DJs playing their tunes during the day and a comedy show at 6pm followed by a live band.

The live music will include high-spirited music played by the band ‘Trousers Down’, who are well-known and are set to bring the venue to life with their signature style.

Also, for those not inclined to beer, Phnom Penh based spirit distillery Seekers will be on hand to provide the finest in Cambodian-made cocktails.

The Kampot Craft Beer Festival poster. Supplied

Monkey Republic Hotel is hoping to expect over 300 people to attend the event, both foreign and Khmer.

Monkey Republic owner and event organiser Slava Shpakov said: “The idea for the beer fest came after I visited a similar event at the venue called “Cakes & Craft” in Phnom Penh. It was such an interesting concept, where lots of breweries – no matter the size of their company – came together to provide a great experience.”

“Kampot has become an important destination for domestic tourism, so the idea behind this event is to make Kampot even more popular and add something new to it, even if it’s just for one weekend. It’s a win-win, consumers and producers both get to meet each other, try the products and enjoy the event,” he said.

“The event is about connecting people, rather than profit,” he added.

Shpakov moved to Cambodia four years ago, when he began running the Kampot-based hotel. However, the Monkey Republic brand was founded in 1995, with the first café opening in Sihanoukville.

Shpakov said that Monkey Republic is reliant on tourism and therefore COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the business, with the main challenge being to attract new customers, especially via domestic tourism during the pandemic.

Hotel Monkey Republic Kampot. Supplied

“The only way to survive in this financial climate is by trying new things and looking in to new ways of advertising and promoting your business. In March last year, we shut down our guesthouse and restaurant for two months and in June literally started from scratch. We hope this event will revive tourism in the area and benefit our business,” he said.

This will be the first event since Shpakov has re-opened his business and he said if it is a success, his team will plan more events in the future.

Shpakov said: “There are many guesthouses in Kampot which are struggling to fill their rooms, if we advertise properly, then hopefully many people from outside Kampot will come to visit the province on this special weekend. If people come for the weekend, there is plenty of time for everyone to visit local attractions, such as Bokor Mountain, Toek Chou rapids and other places. I hope this event will help many locally-based hotels, cafes and restaurants to attract extra traffic this weekend.”

He added that at the event, the hotel will be following the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for virus prevention by conducting temperature checks, installing hand sanitising stations and providing face masks.

The event was supposed to be held on November 28 last year, however due to the community outbreak it was rescheduled for January 30.

 

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