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Vacation Homes to Become Tourists’ Staple Mainstay in Siem Reap

Posted by Mizpah Grace Castro on August 2, 2021
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Siem Reap, Cambodia | In the last quarter of 2020, Forbes reported a 50% increase in pageviews for vacation home listings, which could be attributed to heightened movement restrictions and the ability to work and study from home. 

For vacationers, it’s more than the privacy they’re after. Staying at an exclusive villa is preferable to a conventional hotel for many, especially if the holiday involves accommodation of a large group, an occasion to celebrate (e.g., wedding, or grand family tradition) and of course, health concerns – particularly in the aftermath of a global health crisis. 

This has been a sustained trend, with a realtor report finding that vacation home sales were up 57.2% year-over-year in the first half of 2021. Overall, there has been an ongoing low supply and high demand for these getaway properties, with current market conditions showing that they are a good ongoing investment. 

Why Vacation Homes?

Owning a vacation home has perks beyond generating a rental income. If you and your family go on holidays often, you’ll be able to use such a property to build up equity over time instead of paying someone else for your accommodation. 

Eventually, after a period of both utilizing it as a personal holiday destination and renting it out when you’re not around, it could eventually become a full-time family home – a wedding gift for your children or a luxurious place to spend your retirement. 

Moving forward, investing in a rental property for either long-term settlers or tourist occupancy is a sure-fire way of gaining passive income as we anticipate the revival of Cambodia’s tourism industry. 

Overall, the potential relational benefits and return of investment are limitless when you own a vacation home, and as one of the hottest global tourism destinations for over a decade, Siem Reap should be seriously considered. 

Siem Reap’s Up-and-coming Smart City

Areas like Sala Kamreuk, Slor Kram, and Svay Dangkum are brimming with luxury compounds, private villas, and resort facilities now being offered for sale. They stand as investment opportunities, plenty of them inclusive of inventory. 

They’re also positioned close to the city center without trading away the tranquility of the Siem Reap countryside. Conversely, there are lands for sale within these communes if you prefer to start from scratch. 

Still, more developments – housing compounds and tourism spots alike – are set to rise elsewhere, such as in the direction of Prasat Bakong, far east of the Siem Reap City center. Moreover, construction of a new airport is under way just 50km from Siem Reap International Airport. 

Infrastructural improvement of Siem Reap, at present most obvious with the 38-Road Project, is part of the 15-year tourism masterplan which was conceived in 2020. 

Aside from gradual expansion of the city, the metro streets as well as water management systems have been getting a revamp. 

The road hasn’t been easy, but the bottom line is there’s a positive outlook for continuous expansion and growth in terms of tourism, particularly through real estate. As the anticipated upturn is gearing towards private compounds, it’s prime time to explore these highly viable investments.  

Third-world Real Estate

While the above analyses are based on Western localities, Cambodia since 2018 has been a high-potential holiday home market, a trait only exacerbated by the Kingdom’s economic resilience. The country has not been particularly hard-hit by a single recession in the past two decades, with InvestAsian dubbing it the closest to being a recession-proof country. 

With the current vaccination efforts, the economy is projected to improve significantly, albeit sector by sector. The real estate market in particular was named through the Khmer Times to be one of the fastest recovering. 

That’s not to say the Kingdom has not suffered at all. Tourist arrivals, a primary boom of the economy, dipped due to the pandemic. From a Real GDP Growth Rate of around 7.5% in 2018 and nearly matching figures in 2019, the figure fell to -2.5% in 2020. 

Nevertheless, it was able to bounce back to 2.5% within the first half of 2021 (Fitch Solutions) – fairly impressive, in light of current circumstances. 

The Kingdom is currently on a vaccination rollout, aiming to reach herd immunity by the end of the year. With more people getting inoculated globally, and the steady lowering of restrictions among countries with densely vaccinated populations, a post-pandemic upturn in Cambodia’s tourism is just around the horizon. 

As the country’s tourism capital, the Angkor Archaeological Park alone recorded 2.2 million international visitors. This was prior to the uprising of Covid-19 worldwide. 

Angkor Tourism Recovery Under way

According to the Roadmap for Recovery of Cambodia Tourism During and Post Covid-19, the Kingdom experienced an 80% drop in international and 20% in domestic tourism. 

From 370,000 tourists in Siem Reap during the 2019 Khmer New Year holiday alone, arrivals fell to just 45,000 for the entirety of 2020. Moreover, from 6.6 million international arrivals nationwide in 2019, that figure fell to 1.3 million in 2020. 

However, the government has been swift in addressing the resilience, recovery, and relaunch of this dynamic sector. 

Through strategies put forth in the 2021-2025 tourism roadmap and 2021-2035 Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Development Master Plan, the province could attract 10.9 million domestic tourists by 2023. By 2025, the projection is at 7.5 million international tourists. 

With public and private sectors doing all they can to revive and further elevate the tourism sector, a comeback in Siem Reap as a tourism hotspot is just around the corner. 

The question is, will you be ready to make the most of it? 

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