Wakayama announces IR implementation policy

The prefecture has set out policies on facilities, protection of heritage and problem gambling measures.
The prefecture has set out policies on facilities, protection of heritage and problem gambling measures.

The prefecture has set out the requisites that potential private partners must meet in their bids for its integrated resort project.

Japan.- The Wakayama prefecture has announced its implementation policy for its future bid for one of Japan’s three integrated resort (IR) licences to be issued in 2022.

The prefecture will apply for one of the licences in April and hopes to open its IR by 2026.

The policy sets out objectives for a wellness and sports-focused IR that aims to revitalise the local economy, attracting visitors from within Japan and abroad, creating “significant economic and employment effects”.

It calls on potential private operators to prioritise the waterfront location, hot springs, food culture and other local resources to maximise the strengths of their proposals.

Wakayama’s candidate area is a 23.61-hectare space in Marina City, Kemi, with an initial operation period of 40 years.

Proposals from potential private partners must be creative designs that fit in with local heritage, the prefecture’s policy states.

The building must offer a symbolic landmark and be technologically advanced, including MICE facilities covering 50,000 square meters, customer PR and concierge services, at least 100,000 square meters of accommodation with 2,500 guestrooms, and a casino comprising no more than 3 per cent of the entire area.

Sports must also form a key part in the proposal. Sailing, surfing, fishing, diving, golf, rafting, and a spa are all mentioned in the policy.

The policy also mentions that potential partners must consider a policy for mitigating problem gambling. They must hire an addiction expert and introduce an IR card system, among other measures to prevent negative cultural impacts.

Hong Kong’s Suncity Group and Canada’s Clairvest have already connfirmed their interest in bidding to become the private partner for the project.

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CLAIRVEST integrated resort Suncity Group