Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday called on Preah Sihanouk province authority to restore its image and strengthen security and social order following complaints of crime.
Speaking at the 2018 Sea Festival in Koh Kong province under the theme of “Beautiful Bay, Happy Citizen with its slogan eco-tourism for green growth and sustainable development”, Mr Hun Sen said that a lot of people and tourists complained about insecurity, social disorder and high price of goods, and accommodations in Preah Sihanouk province in recent years.
“Sihanouk province must restore its image,” Mr Hun Sen said. “The issue in Preah Sihanouk Province is not so big, but the people raised this issue as Tsunami or big storm,” he said.
In September, Interior Minister Sar Kheng instructed four units to set up a support team to restore security in Preah Sihanouk in order to counter a spike in crime following an influx of Chinese nationals.
Mr Hun Sen said that now people had more provinces to visit.
“Before, out of our population of 16 million, some flocked to Preah Sihanouk province as there are no places to visit and we have not many tourism sites, so they go to Sihanouk province. Now they visit Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong,” he said.
“Besides coastal area, people go to Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, and Stung Treng,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen said that security in the Kingdom had to be strengthened.
“Security and social order must be strengthened not only in Preah Sihanouk province, but also in the whole country. The law must be implemented by all people,” he said.
“I must say that how many of you know the market principle. Why does someone build five-star hotels and others build four and three-star hotels and guesthouses? It is the market principle. The rich go to five-star hotels. For tourists who have less money, go to three-and two-star hotels and guesthouses,” Mr Hun Sen said.
“You have to know both demand and supply. You cannot use Preah Sihanouk issue as darkness or storm. I tell some of you who do not understand this issue,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen also called on owners of hotels, guesthouses and shops not to hike prices since people will take their vacations at the end of the year.