Masterplan released for the 'next Asian Riviera' from MAP and Scott Wilson
The Royal Group of Cambodia has unveiled its masterplan to transform the pristine island of Koh Rong into Asia's first environmentally planned resort destination. A 6-month study by MAP Architects of Hong Kong and environmental consultants Scott Wilson produced the vision for ‘one of the last undiscovered paradises in South-East Asia’.
Focusing on high quality, sustainable tourism, it details how the ‘next Asian Riviera’ – following Phuket, Koh Samui and Bali – will be created from scratch. The study was commissioned to “transform a vision into physical reality”, said MAP Architects Director, David Clarke. It embraces every aspect from infrastructural development of an airport, marina, port and roads to proposed locations for resorts, hotels, golf courses, shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment. “Key to the eco-strategy is that all development partners conform to recycling and low-energy use, with minimal use of high-energy consuming materials”, said Clarke. Even colour schemes of various integrated projects are being restricted – to ‘an eco-green theme with earth tones’.
An international airport in the centre of the island will allow international flights by aircraft such as the A320 Airbus, operated by charter airlines and carriers like Air Asia, Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways. Koh Rong is less than one hour’s flight from Bangkok and HCMC, and approximately two hours from Hong Kong and Singapore, making it ideally located to capture the growing Asian tourist market and global travelers.
The masterplan is now being distributed to international investors, developers and leading hotel and resort operators in an effort to establish fruitful partnerships. With a 5 year timetable for the first phase, and ultimate completion in 25 years, it is also one of the more far-sighted of visions in global hospitality.
The sustainability vision extends to organic farming and fish-husbandry projects to meet much of the island’s demand for food produce – and provide employment for the island’s indigenous fishing community, estimated at around 300 families. Koh Rong features an abundance of natural attractions including coral reefs, tropical palms, rainforest, waterfalls, sparkling turquoise waters and 28 pure white sand beaches – including one of the most spectacular in the region stretching 6 kilometres.