Japan’s Aichi prefecture, located in the Chūbu region of Honshū, has confirmed it is still considering joining the race to develop an integrated resort, with operator discussions ongoing amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issue of IRs was raised at a recent plenary session of the Aichi Prefectural Assembly after a member of the assembly asked for clarity on how many operators had submitted initial proposals around potential development of an IR.
In response, the director of the Prefectural Policy Planning Bureau said, “The prefecture is conducting research and surveys with the aim of realizing an international tourist city centered on MICE at Chubu International Airport and its surrounding area.
“There were applications for participation from a total of 13 entities, including four overseas corporations and nine domestic corporations, each with their own unique know-how, who are interested in the IR resort and operation.”
Asked how the COVID-19 pandemic had changed Aichi’s IR outlook, the director replied, “COVID-19 has restricted marketability and business potential, especially for overseas operators.
“We are continuing to speak with those operators who offered feedback and we feel that there is a high level of interest still.
“On the other hand, how the pandemic will play out cannot be forecast so we can assume that operators will not have understood the entire operation themselves. I would like to confirm this in future meetings with them.”