Friday, 25 March 2011

Man About Town: 25 Mar 2011

via CAAI

Friday, 25 March 2011 15:01 Peter Olszewski

Two luminaries of the heady international hospitality industry were to be in town, flexing their wrists in preparedness for signing a memo of understanding tomorrow morning at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort.

The two high-profile signatories were to be Paul Dubrule, the French co-founder of the Accor group which owns the Sofitel hotel chain, and Michel Rochat, the general director
of L’Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

The historic memorandum was scheduled to set the agenda for a harmonious and productive working relationship between Siem Reap’s Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School, and L’Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, one of the world’s leading hotel management institutes.

But late Monday evening, Rochat announced that he had to pull out of the trip due to an emergency crisis at the school in Lausanne.

The all-important cooperation between the two schools will go ahead, and Paul Dubrule School director Gerald Hougardy will fly to Switzerland in a fortnight to oversee the signing of the MOU.

Meanwhile, the inestimable Paul Dubrule himself is in town and ready to head the school’s annual bike rally on Sunday morning.

Dubrule’s attendance at the rally is becoming a tradition and this is certainly fitting seeing that in 2002, at the age of 68, Dubrule travelled just over 15,000 kilometres by bicycle from the French town of Fontainebleau to Siem Reap, partly to attend the grand opening of the school that bears his name.

CAMBODIA and Siem Reap will figure significantly in No Vacancy, one of Asia Pacific’s leading accommodation industry conferences. The first Southeast Asian No Vacancy conference will be held in Bangkok on June 7, the day before the start of Thai Travel Mart.

No Vacancy has been running annually for the past five years in Sydney, Australia and is strongly supported by leading hoteliers, online travel agents, technology suppliers and industry groups.

Founder Martin Kelly told Man About that Cambodia and Siem Reap will be very much on the agenda, and that he is scouting around for Cambodian speakers to feature at the conference.

Interested Siem Reap parties can contact Kelly by emailing

UNSEASONAL but very welcome rain deluged Siem Reap on Monday night, washing away the dust that’s such a problem during the dry season. It also set off a festive carnival-like atmosphere along the banks of the Siem Reap River early on Tuesday morning as hundreds of Khmer netted thousands of fish that were a bounty from the unexpected rain. In turn, large crowds gathered by the riverbanks to watch the fishing folk haul in their catches of small, slithering silver fish.

Included in the catch were silver-painted bananas that mysteriously appeared in the river over the weekend and which, before being identified, prompted an alarm that there had been a damaging fish kill.
Man About was on the river at dawn on Sunday morning to investigate, only to discover that what appeared to be a large patch of decidedly

dead floating fish was actually the aforementioned silver-painted bananas.

And speaking of rains, rivers and water, its good to see on these pages that this year, Siem Reap authorities have been very open in discussing why the town is yet again plagued with cuts to the water supply.

While we all appreciate the explanations, and now realise that the cuts are obviously planned beforehand, the plea to the authorities is to inform the public in advance of water cuts.

CONVICTED and jailed Siem Reap pedophile Nick Griffin has been the subject of close scrutiny in the Welsh media, where accusations have been made that he raped a boy while working in Wales.

This allegation was reported this week in Wales on Sunday, which said that during his time in Wales, Griffin was a fisheries manager and Scout leader in Llangollen, and that police are in investigating the claims that he allegedly raped a boy while running the Scout group in North Wales.

According to Wales on Sunday, North Wales Police told the publication that they took the allegations “very seriously”.

Charity volunteers who worked with Griffin in Siem Reap also told Wales on Sunday “of the disturbing behaviour they witnessed”.

The paper also quoted Sally Sayer, regional director of Volunteer Project Overseas, who lives in Siem Reap.

The publication reported that she said she had become concerned about 53-year-old Griffin and the orphanage more than a year ago.

The paper quoted her saying: “I didn’t have much to do with him at the start, but then in January last year I took over as project manager and I had a huge amount more to do with him.

“It was then that I started to look at things and think things were a bit odd.”

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