the local economy
Pursat is a small town and has missed out on much of the economic growth in the nearby towns and cities of Battambang and Kampong Chhnang. Moreover its interest to tourists is not as evident as Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, for example. The Pursat River Run has therefore tried to support the local economy, by sourcing materials from local businesses wherever possible. The trophies, for example, are made by local stonemasons out of Pursat marble (see below left), which is nationally famous.
By attracting foreign visitors, the Run gives a boost to local businesses such as hotels and restaurants. Links have been made with the Phnom Penh Hash House Harriers, a largely expatriate running and social club, to ensure participation of expat runners each year (see below right). In the 2009 River Run, the Pursat Department of Tourism made a point of publicising the province’s tourist attractions and distributing a new tourist guide to visitors.