Norwegian Hotel in Cambodia

Six young Norwegians have joined together in establishing a small hotel in Siem Reap close to the famous Angkor Wat in Northwestern Cambodia with a vision to expand – on idealistic principles – in the region.
The hotel was recently officially opened with a traditional monk ceremony. It offers initially only 20 rooms, but an application to increase with an additional 20 rooms has already been approved.
The young tourism entrepreneurs plan to take turns as managers. Currently, the Norwegian manager and driving force behind the project is Thomas Hold๘ Hansen (26), a graduate in tourism from University of Brighton. His sister, Kristin Hold๘ Hansen (22) is also shareholder, but currently studying tourism in Australia.
Apart from the Hold๘ Hansen brother and sister, four other young Norwegians – Pๅl Gulbrandsen, Christoffer Haugli S๘rensen, Berit H. Hansen and Line Bergene – are on the board of directors of the company.
The idea to establish a hotel catering mainly to young budget travellers came during a trip to Angkor Wat in 1998 by a group of students from the International Tourism Institute. Later, more students followed in their footsteps and were equally fascinated by the culture, the people, the climate and the impressive Angkor Wat. In 1999 the company Earthwalkers, who owns and operates the hotel, was formally established. A total of 31 students contributed 1,5 mill. NOK in working capital to the company and the construction could begin.
So far, the hotel is only marketed through its website,
One of the basic principles of the hotel is, that the local Cambodian community must benefit from the operation and further develop itself. Construction workers were hired locally and only local materials were used. Part of the income must also be given to charitable work in the area like mine clearing and support of a pediatric clinic.
Earthwalkers have plans later to build a similar a hotel in Thailand and establish a travel agency with its own activities in the area.

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