Paradise City to get a new club, spa and mall

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Paradise City to get a new club, spa and mall

Korea’s first casino and hotel complex Paradise City will open more entertainment and leisure facilities next week in a move to attract more local and foreign visitors, its operator said Thursday.

The second round of facilities at the 330,000-square-meter (81.5 acres) resort, about 46 times the size of a football pitch, will include a boutique hotel, spa, club and shopping arcade, according to Paradise Segasammy, Paradise City’s operator.

“We will emphasize the entertainment aspect through our second phase opening, becoming a key tourism landmark of Korea based on a differentiated infrastructure and hallyu content,” its CEO Park Pyung-yong said in a press conference at the resort in Incheon. Hallyu refers to the boom of Korean pop culture.

Paradise City was partially launched in April last year, unveiling its hotel, foreigner-only casino and convention center to the public. The company said the additional facilities are expected to attract 4.8 million visitors in a year, with a sales target set at 500 billion won ($445 million) in 2019. The resort attracted 1.2 million visitors in the year after its opening.

The mega-scale casino resort project, worth 1.5 trillion won, kicked off in 2011 through the partnership between South Korea’s resort operator Paradise Group and Japan’s slot machine maker Sega Sammy Holdings The joint venture Paradise Segasammy was established in July 2012.

The resort complex touts its proximity to Incheon airport as one of its key advantages. It is just a 15-minute walk from the airport, while South Korea’s capital is about 40 minutes away by Airport Railroad.

Amid lingering concerns over the drop in the number of Chinese tourists, Paradise Segasammy said it is making efforts to attract visitors from various countries. According to government data, the number of visitors to foreigners-only casinos in South Korea fell for a third year in 2017 due mainly to fallout after a Sino-Korean row over a missile defense system.

The 16 casinos reserved for foreigners attracted 2.22 million visitors last year, down 6.2 percent from the previous year. In March last year, China banned the sale of package tours to South Korea and took other retaliatory measures against South Korean companies, insisting the missile shield poses a threat to its security.

The number of Chinese tourists came to 410,337 in July, up 45.9 percent on-year due to a base effect, after Beijing partially lifted the ban since later last year. Yet the latest figure still falls short of the 917,519 tallied in July 2016.

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