Sport will take centrestage at the 7th Sea Festival when it gets underway today with the provincial administration expecting at least 300,000 national and international visitors to descend on Koh Kong province.
The three-day event is this year presented under the slogans ‘Beautiful Bay, Happy Citizen’ and ‘Ecotourism for sustainable green growth and sustainable development’.
The festival will get an official opening from Prime Minister Hun Sen and in an effort to attract more tourists to Cambodia’s coastline, the kingdom’s leading sporting governing body has introduced a revised schedule of events.
The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) earlier said it would this year feature only seven disciplines at the festival. Compared to last year’s competition in Kep, the number is a marked decrease.
Among the sports which will make a presence include running, cycling, wrestling, triathlon, jet-ski, beach volleyball, and Kun Khmer.
The Watercraft Federation of Cambodia announced it would collaborate with authorities to host an international friendly Jet Ski competition at the festival. The event is expected to see the participation of Cambodia’s Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist Ou Moeut Saly.
Nos Sles, President of the Federation, explained the competition would play a crucial role in promoting the niche sport, as well as attracting more tourists to visit the country.
In addition to sports, attendees will also be also to see artistic performances, concerts and parades.
To facilitate easy access, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and Tourism Minister Thong Khon said that both Cambodians and Thais who want to cross the border for visits will use ID cards instead of passports during the three-day event.
“For our people and Thai people who wish to cross the border to visit either Thailand or Cambodia, they do not need to use passports for crossing the border, but they can use ID cards,” Mr Khon said. “We will cooperate with each other to make it convenient for the people of both countries.”
Traditionally, the festival has attracted many of the Kingdom’s finest sportsmen and women and past events have been no exception. Organised as a celebration of Cambodia’s entry into the World’s Most Beautiful Beach Club in July 2011, the festival has steadily grown to become one of the premier year-end fixtures since its inaugural Sihanoukville event.
Each of the Kingdom’s four coastal provinces – Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep – rotate hosting duties.