Asian casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment has promised to reinvent Asia’s MICE industry should it win a Japanese IR license, claiming the MICE model that has proved so successful for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands “isn’t good enough for Japan.”
In a three-pronged presentation to an audience of around 350 mostly Japanese at the 1st Japan IR Expo in Osaka on Wednesday, Melco unveiled new details of the facilities to be found within its concept integrated resort, led by a redefining of MICE.
“What we are planning to build here is nothing short of extraordinary, the new generation of integrated resort,” said Melco’s new Vice President, Design (Japan), Pim Robberechts, a former SVP Design for Las Vegas Sands Corp.
“Having built many of the previous generations of MICE facilities around the world, I feel well qualified to comment on what this new generation of IR needs.
“I’ve heard a lot of comparisons between Marina Bay Sands Expo in Singapore and what Japan needs. Well, having led the team that designed and built MBS at the time, I can tell you for a fact that the same model isn’t good enough for Japan.”
Robberechts described the MICE space as “not just big but offering extraordinary experiences” in order to attract premium events.
The development, to be built on 49 hectares in Osaka’s Yumeshima Island, would also incorporate the largest Japanese garden ever created, six hotels of around 1,000 rooms each including one specializing in health and healing, a water themed amusement park and in-built entertainment feature such as performers hanging from the roof.
The mountainous frame of the IR has been designed to imitate the mountains that stretch along the border of Osaka prefecture.
“Creating an experience that appeals to a premium audience is where Melco excels,” said Melco Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho of the company’s concept, called City of the Future.
“Our guests are demanding, well-travelled, naturally curious and after new experiences. To make sure the plans at Kansai Airport are packed with premium travelers, not discounted ones, we need to build a resort like nobody has seen before.”