The American dream in Cambodia: how the couple from Australia bought the island for 15 thousand dollars and become millionairesPictolic
In 2005, when Melita hunter moved from Australia to South East Asia, she thought she was going to stay there for one year. She followed her husband Rory, who was offered a job in Cambodia, and then they planned to move to new York. However, ten years later, the couple from Australia was still in Cambodia and own an island with a luxurious hotel.
Having spent a year on a business trip, the pair went on holiday to the beach and visited the island of song SAA (Song Saa), which is located 29 kilometers from Sihanoukville. They met with local residents, who, as it turned out, wanted a change. Seeing spouses, who were the first foreigners on their island, the locals made it an interesting proposal.
Hunter paid 15 thousand dollars for land rights, taking the island on lease for 99 years. At that time, the same amount could, for example, to rent an apartment in London for six months. On his private island the couple decided to build a luxury hotel. And immediately began to execute it.
2008 was the year of the Hunters a difficult time. The Bank declared bankruptcy, and Melita was diagnosed with cancer. But the couple returned to the resort project and made a Paradise on earth.
And here 10 years later on the island of 27 luxury villas cost 869 USD per day. To reach the place by helicopter or by boat.
The Hunter has its own philosophy in the administration of the island. Their desire to make profit is balanced by the desire to help people and the planet. 80 percent of the jobs at the resort is the Cambodian. The resort itself was designed by Melita, which saw to it that the materials that were obtained as a result of processing: driftwood, nailed the sea to the beach, wood from old boats, scrap metal and stones.
Sewage waste is also recycled. The couple have introduced programs that encourage efficient fishing, processing of garbage, spreading compost in the surrounding villages.
"It took us a long time to gain the trust of local residents. A lot of people come from all over the world in places such as Cambodia, and promise to get the moon in the sky, but their promises are not fulfilled".
Hunter played an important role in creating the Islands 200-meter zone where fishing is not allowed. Their team for the conservation of nature, consisting of biologists and other scientists, working tirelessly to preserve the flora and fauna of the region and to restore them after years of abuse and neglect.