Cambodia Hosting SEA Games 2023 – Citizens’ Viewpoints & Hosting Impact
In a historic occasion for the nation, Cambodia will play host for the first time to this year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held from May 5-17, 2023, with much of the action anticipated to take place in the capital, Phnom Penh. This follows the 2021 SEA Games held in Hanoi, Vietnam, which were moved to last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be the 32nd edition of the biennial multi-sport event, which will feature 40+ sports and a record number of 632 events or contests, the biggest in SEA Games history. Besides Phnom Penh, the competition will also be spread out across multiple cities throughout Cambodia, including Siem Reap, Sihanoukville Kep, and the Kampot provinces.
With further commitments extending up until the 2029 Asian Youth Games, what can Cambodian audiences expect from the increased visibility and renewed interest in the region? Moreover, what effect will these major international competitions have on public opinion, and how will they impact the country?
How Do Cambodians Feel About Cambodia Hosting the SEA Games?
Coming off their most successful SEA Games ever, winning 63 medals, including nine gold medals, in Vietnam last year, Cambodians are excited and hoping to outperform their performance this year.
According to our latest research conducted in November 2022, many Cambodians enthusiastically embrace Cambodia’s hosting of the SEA Games 2023. When asked to choose an emoji that best reflects their feelings about the matter, the top emojis identified were Fantastic (46.9%), Happy (14.8%), and Excited (14.2%).
We also discovered that slightly more than half of those polled (53.1%) intend to watch the SEA Games live.
In addition, among the various sporting events, Cambodians are most excited about Football, with nearly two out of three (65.3%) stating that they follow this sport the most. Football fans outnumber all other sports fans in Cambodia. However, Volleyball (27.1%), and Other Local Khmer Sports (26.9%) are also popular.
How Will the SEA Games 2023 Impact Cambodian Property and Investment?
As previously mentioned, Phnom Penh will be the vibrant focal point for this year’s Southeast Asian Games, highlighted by a brand new Morodok Techo National Stadium in Chroy Changvar.
Aside from the new stadium, which will host a variety of events, including the opening and closing ceremonies, other venues, including the National Olympic Stadium, OCIC Exhibition Hall, and Sports Athletes Village, have been selected in part due to their superior craftsmanship and ability to provide an exceptional experience worthy of athletes from all over Southeast Asia.
Furthermore, about USD 30 million has already been committed to the games’ preparation. This multi-million dollar investment includes a 3,000-capacity aquatic complex, a 5,500-capacity multi-sports gymnasium, and a training hall. All of these not only provide world-class facilities for up to 60,000 eager spectators but can also house up to 7,000 residents within the vicinity.
This is tied to many major infrastructure and transportation projects, which are also expected to impact investment and tourism significantly.
The Short and Long-term Advantages of Hosting the SEA Games in Cambodia
Sothavatey Mom, Country Manager for FazWaz Cambodia, believes there is substantial potential gain from hosting the Southeast Asian Games in both the short and long term.
“In the short term, some industry sectors such as hotels and accommodation, restaurants, and bars will benefit immediately from the influx of visitors, media, and athletes. The property market will benefit in the long-term – this will happen due to the exposure from the international media in the build-up to and during the Games and the international audience and visitors that are expected to attend in Cambodia, including corporate sponsors.”
As other nations have experienced, hosting events like the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup can be a great opportunity for global investors to take notice of the host country. Notably, in Cambodia’s case, this could serve as an incredible opening for international investments and growth.
The 2023 Southeast Asian Games are fast approaching, and Cambodians are excited about their country hosting them, with many expecting to watch the events live. They are most looking forward to watching and supporting their football teams, but are also fired up about the other games as well.
Finally, the SEA Games could be a watershed moment for Cambodia, as the country strives to showcase and market itself to attract foreign investment to help grow its economy. The country has already invested millions into the event, as it promises to deliver the biggest and grandest SEA games yet.
Access more insights into Cambodia here.