South Korea's first casino and hotel complex Paradise City opened its doors in Yeongjongdo, west of Seoul, on April 20.
“Paradise City was the best challenge suited for Paradise Group, a first mover in the tourism industry in Korea,” Paradise Group Chairman Chun Phil-lip said at a media briefing on the day, adding, “We are certain the casino resort will become a key destination of 'Hallyu' for people across the world and we hope it serve to upgrade the national stature in the end.”
Paradise Group began the construction of the mega-scale casino resort worth 1.3 trillion won (US$1.14 billion) in late 2011 after forming a joint venture with Sega Sammy Holdings, a Japanese slot machine maker.
Constructed on 300,000 square meters of land facing the Yellow Sea, the casino resort encompasses a foreigner-only casino, two hotels, a shopping plaza and other amenities designed by the renowned home and abroad to cater to the tastes of both local and overseas visitors, according to Paradise Group.
The casino resort is located at just 15 minutes walking distance from the nation’s main gateway Incheon International Airport. South Korea's capital Seoul is about 40 minutes away by Airport Railroad. Visitors taking flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo can reach the resort in about 90 minutes, according to Paradise.
Paradise said the geographical advantage will help attract visitors from the Asian region such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Some market observers here are raising concerns that the resort will have trouble bringing in Chinese high spenders because Beijing has banned selling group trips in retaliation against Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea. .
However, the company dismissed those concerns, saying that the target Chinese VIP visitors are not affected by the China’s travel ban because they do not travel in group.”
Paradise is expecting some 1.5 million to visit the casino resort this year alone, with annual income estimated at 880 billion won (US$792 million).
This time’s opening of the casino resort is for the casino, hotel and convention center. Paradise City plans to open the remaining facilities, including the shopping plaza, spa, nightclub, and family entertainment facilities, in the first half of next year.