Asia’s largest casino complex opened Thursday near Incheon International Airport west of Seoul. The casino complex is the creation of Paradise Group of Korea and Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings, which invested W1.3 trillion over the last six years (US$1=W1,139).
Paradise City is what the industry calls an “integrated resort” that combines casinos with other attractions, including a shopping center and entertainment facilities.
There are some 2,700 prestigious works of art placed throughout Paradise City, including the Proust armchair designed by Alessandro Mendini.
A foreigner-only casino, hotel and convention center were the first parts of the resort to open, while a boutique hotel, shopping center, health spa and other facilities will open in the first half of 2018. All facilities except the casino will be open to Koreans.
Paradise City said the resort is less than two hours by plane from major cities in neighboring countries like Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, and about four hours from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
It remains to be seen, however, if the resort can attract Chinese visitors in the midst of an unofficial Chinese boycott over Seoul’s decision to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S.
Sega Sammy Holdings chairman Hajime Satomi said, “The [Korean] tourism industry is experiencing tough times due to the THAAD issue, but we will create new demand by focusing on Japan and Southeast Asian travelers”.