The Kyushu Nagasaki Integrated Resorts (IR) Business-Connect Seminar was held on Thursday at Arkas Sasebo in anticipation of an IR bid at the Huis Ten Bosch resort facility in Sasebo.
This was the first time six different IR operators – either domestic or international – have presented in Nagasaki, among them Agora Hospitality Group, Current Corp, Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 and Get Nice Holdings Limited, Oshidori International Development Limited and Casinos Austria International.
The Nagasaki Governor and the mayor of Sasebo were also in attendance. The venue capacity was only 500, but far more attended and once the seats were filled many took up up standing room as well.
Nagasaki prefecture and Sasebo city are hoping to develop an IR on an site covering 30 hectares, including some land owned by Dutch-inspired theme park Huis Ten Bosch.
Nagasaki’s strength is its consensus-building between the public and private sectors in the region aiming to attract an IR. In 2017, 91% of the prefectural assembly and 83% of the Sasebo municipal assembly were in favor of the project. Further, a survey of residents held in January 2018 by the Nagasaki Shimbun found that 46.6% were in favor and 38.2% were against.
It was also decided in June by the Kyushu Governor’s Association that they would unify on Nagasaki as an IR candidate site, and the Kyushu business community announced a system to support the initiative.
“Nagasaki is a safe investment destination for operators,” Shinichi Yoshida, policy director of Nagasaki Prefecture Planning and Promotion Department commented. “The proposal has become more concrete, and that’s why there are so many people here.”
Governor Hodo Nakamura also stated his strong aspirations.
“Nagasaki was at the head of the IR initiative and in June this year the whole of Kyushu has consolidated on Nagasaki as the candidate area and a project team was established. Now we would like to win the regional competition and be selected as a location,” he said.