SKorean city hopes to rival Vegas
SKorean city hopes to rival Vegas
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s Incheon city said Wednesday it aims to transform a small fishing island off the country’s west coast into a hub of tourism, shopping and gambling to rival Macau and Las Vegas.
The city, 28 kilometers (17 miles) west of the capital Seoul, hopes to eventually attract up to $290 billion in investments by 2030 to build casinos, hotels, auto racing tracks, a marina and K-pop concert halls in its district of Yongyu-Muui.
Incheon hopes the tourism complex will lure the growing middle and upper class from China, who are spending more on leisure and travel, and tourists from Japan.
To increase its appeal to Chinese tourists, the new island will be named “EIGHTCITY” and built in the shape of “8” after the auspicious number in China.
The 5.7 million passengers passing through Incheon International Airport every year will also be targeted, a head of the project developer told a briefing.
“It will become the world’s top city that has the creativity of Dubai, convention centers and casinos of Las Vegas and Macau, as well as the shopping centers and financial hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore,” said Park Seong-Hyun, vice chairman of EIGHTCITY Co., the project’s developer.
International hotel operator Kempinski AG and South Korea’s flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. are among the shareholders in the developer.
When completed, Incheon said the area will be three times larger than Macau at 80 square kilometers (30 square miles).
In early 2000s, Yongyu-Muui district was designated as a free-economic zone, along with several of Incheon’s other districts, to boost foreign investment in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
But the Yongyu-Muui project saw little progress partly due to the global financial crisis. Incheon officials said they hope to gather fresh momentum for “EIGHTCITY” island to create a growth engine for the country.
The EIGHTCITY chief said it secured $2.8 billion from South Korean investors and $1 billion from Britain’s Sanbar Development Corp., which will help get the project off the ground. The initial investment will be used to compensate island residents early next year. Building infrastructure and reclaiming land will cost another $27 billion.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.