Osaka city’s mayor Hideyuki Yokoyama says the Japanese metropolis (pictured) is targeting drawing 20 million foreign visitors annually when the MGM Osaka integrated resort (IR) with casino opens, possibly in the autumn 2030.
His comments were in a lecture to the Kansai Association of Corporate Executives.
The mayor suggested even 10 million inbound tourists a year could stimulate fresh consumption in the local economy amounting to JPY1.1 trillion (US$7.73 billion)
Were double the amount of tourists to visit Osaka, it could add an additional JPY1.0 trillion stimulus to the local economy, suggested Mr Yokohama.
In his Friday remarks, the mayor mentioned that the amount of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) space at MGM Osaka was due to triple to 60,000 square metres (645,835 sq. feet) within 10 years of the resort’s launch.
In early September the Osaka authorities had mentioned “autumn 2030” at the earliest before a resort could open, and that the initial investment cost of JPY1.08 trillion (US$7.59 billion currently) would rise by JPY190 billion.
A project implementation agreement between the Osaka authorities and Osaka IR KK, signed on September 28, states that after ground preparations for the site at Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay, the construction-preparation effort should begin around summertime 2024.
Osaka IR KK is a venture involving U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International, Japan’s Orix Corp, and other smaller investors.
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