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Towards Sustainable Development in Angkor, Cambodia: Social, Environmental and Financial Aspects of Conseving Cultural Heritage



Founded in the ninth century, the city of Angkor lies at the heart of Khmer cultural heritage. Since 1995, the number of foreign visitors to the temples of Angkor has jumped from a few thousand a year to nearly a million. The neighbouring city of Siem Reap has experienced rapid growth in recent years and local infrastructure and services have struggled to keep up with the demands of international mass tourism. While it represents a significant source of foreign currency for Cambodia, mass tourism has increased pressure on Angkor's cultural and natural features, including water supply. This study of the impacts of tourism on local people involved face-to-face interviews of more than 400 souvenir vendors and 2,500 households residing in Angkor. It found that revenues from park entrance fees represent a unique opportunity to restore Angkor to a thriving city and provides a catalogue of useful and feasible community development projects that could be financed in this way.

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