Huis Ten Bosch, the Dutch-inspired theme park in Nagasaki planned as the location for one of Japan’s first integrated resorts, looks set to be sold.
According to a report The Japan Times, travel agency H.I.S. is considering selling the theme park and is in negotiations with various entities which include an unnamed Hong Kong investment firm.
The media outlet quotes sources who claim H.I.S. is looking to improve its financial situation after enduring a challenging few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. H.I.S. currently owns around 67% of Huis Ten Bosch with the remainder held by Kyushu Electric Power Co and Kyushu Railway, among others.
Huis Ten Bosch recorded an operating loss of JPY218 million (US$2 million) for the year ended 31 March 2021, down from a profit of JPY160 million (US$1.5 million) recorded in FY2020, as visitor numbers plummeted.
Opened in 1992 and covering around 152 hectares – making it one-and-a-half times bigger than Tokyo Disney Resort and the largest theme park in Japan – Huis Ten Bosch attracted a record 3.8 million visitors in 1996 but saw a significant decline in the years that followed and eventually declared bankruptcy in 2003. A reorganization plan provided some temporary relief before H.I.S took ownership in April 2010 – bringing the resort into the black for the first time since opening before COVID-19 quickly dampened spirits.
A 31-hectare plot on the west side of the theme park remains in the mix to host one of Japan’s first IRs with Nagasaki and its operator partner Casinos Austria International Japan having submitted their bid to the central government in April.