Mainland China real estate firm and casino investor Landing International Development Ltd plans to launch a Four Seasons-branded property at its new Jeju casino resort complex, in South Korea.
The firm has signed – via a wholly owned subsidiary – a deal with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Asia Pacific Pte Ltd for the launch of a Four Seasons-branded hotel at Jeju Shinhwa World (pictured in an artist’s rendering).
The Four Seasons hotel is scheduled to open in 2019, Landing International said in a Friday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company stated that the property is to feature approximately 240 guest rooms, suites and villas. Other facilities include restaurants and bars, event facilities and a spa.
“The Four Seasons resort will be designed, developed, constructed, furnished and equipped in accordance with the hotel design… agreed by the Four Seasons group,” Landing International noted.
It added: “Besides the provision of corporate marketing and advertising services, the Four Seasons group will also act as the operator and advisor to provide day-to-day operation and management services for the Four Seasons resort.”
Landing International said it also planned to accelerate the development of Jeju Shinhwa World, located on the holiday island of Jeju. The complex had its initial-phase “grand opening” in April, with the launch of a 344-unit serviced resort condominium called Somerset Jeju Shinhwa World.
Landing International said additionally that it planned to have in operation a total of two hotels, a theme park, and meeting and convention facilities by the end of 2017, as part of phase one of Jeju Shinhwa World.
The company had previously said it expected to open further accommodation – branded under the “Marriot” trademark – at Jeju Shinhwa World “in late 2017”.
“To continue the momentum of the phased openings and provide better product offerings to the customers of Jeju Shinhwa World, Landing… plans to accelerate the completion of the waterpark, theme park hotel and dormitory and training facilities in 2018 (which formed parts of the phase two of Jeju Shinhwa World originally planned to be completed in 2019),” the firm stated in its latest filing.
Landing International added that it planned to build a new lobby and guest facilities within the Somerset serviced resort condominium “to cater for the guests’ expectation and operation needs”.
Friday’s filing did not provide details on the gaming facilities planned for Jeju Shinhwa World that had previously been announced. Under current South Korean law, gaming space at Jeju Shinhwa World will only be accessible to holders of foreign passports.
South Korea currently has 18 casinos but only one – Kangwon Land in a remote upland area – is allowed to serve South Korean nationals.
Landing International already owns and operates a casino on Jeju Island, branded Landing Casino, located at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel. In April 2016, Landing International acquired Les Ambassadeurs Club and Casino, an upmarket gaming venue in London in the United Kingdom.
According to some investment analysts, the South Korean market for inbound tourism is currently facing headwinds due to a political row between that country and China over the siting on South Korean soil of a U.S.-supplied missile system – known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) – designed to counter North Korea’s ballistic missile programme. The first parts of the system began being deployed in early March.
The number of Chinese visitors to South Korea – an important source of customers for foreigner-only South Korean casinos – fell 41 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2017, according to data from the Korea Tourism Organization.
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"The demographics of Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka (possible Japanese urban gaming resort locations) warrant larger gaming floors [than 15,000 square metres]"
Analyst at investment research firm Morningstar