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Cambodian Red Cross launches luxury resort near Preah Vihear

The Cambodian Red Cross has launched a new luxury hotel near Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple. The Green Tel Palace hotel features 80 rooms and spreads across six storeys. The profits from the new hotel will reportedly to go towards humanitarian efforts however; some critics are sceptical of these claims.

Cambodian Red Cross launches luxury resort near Preah Vihear

In what has been considered by some to be a controversial move, the Cambodian Red Cross has opened a luxury hotel near that Thai border at Preah Vihear.

The six storey, 80 room Green Tel Palace hotel which has been developed over a period of three years is expected to raise funds for humanitarian causes. Acting director of the Cambodian Red Cross, Rath Sophea stated:

"We hope that it will generate income to help humanitarian activity, because we only rely on philanthropists."

He went on to add that with the revenue from the hotel the Red Cross:

"… could give more support to the poor."

Much of the controversy surrounding the venture stems from the fact that the Red Cross which is overseen by Bun Rany, the wife of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been accused of being too closely tied to the ruling Cambodian People's Party.

Despite the raised eyebrows, critics have acknowledged that the construction of the hotel was not unethical so long as its profits indeed go towards funding humanitarian causes.

Lor Chan the coordinator of the human rights group Adhoc explained the source of his organisation's scepticism stating:

"We don't know what is occurring in the internal working or anything related to the budget, which perhaps will not be able to help the poor or those who face real problems."

Only time will tell whether the hotel's funds will indeed be channelled towards humanitarian efforts. However, with confidence in Preah Vihear as a tourist attraction being restored, it is safe to say that the new Green Tel Palace hotel will attract its fair share of guests.

The vast majority of international travellers who book holidays in Cambodia are enticed by cultural and historical sites like Angkor Wat.

Preah Vihear, once the source of a longstanding territorial dispute between Cambodia and neighbouring Thailand, was recently declared safe to visit by the UK Foreign Office with the UK officials lifting the previously established travel ban. The UNESCO World Heritage site, which dates back to the 11th century, is now poised to rival Angkor Wat as Cambodia's top tourist attraction.

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