Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (BHR), a member of the Berjaya Corp Group of Companies is bullish on the prospects for its five-star ANSA Okinawa Resort in Japan that opened recently.
The resort is located on the high ground of Uruma, the third-largest city in the Okinawa prefecture and is a game-changer.
Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) chief executive officer Syed Ali Shahul Hameed said Okinawa is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination in Japan.
Okinawa recorded 9.8 million visitors in 2018, which grew 14.2 per cent year-on-year.
The majority of the visitors are domestic travellers, and tourists coming from China and Taiwan.
According to a report last year by C9 Hotelworks, the key catalysts driving increased tourism to the island are rising airlift, visa exemptions for a number of Asian and favourable currency exchange rates to the Japanese yen.
"Okinawa is an elevating destination and it is attracting a lot of people, including Malaysians who are going there for a family vacation. Okinawa is known as the Hawaii of Japan," Syed Ali told NST Property.
ANSA Okinawa, which is BHR's first property on Japan's southernmost prefecture is nestled within the lush greenery of Ishikawa hill.
The resort is located about an hour's drive from the Naha International Airport, which is building a second runway this year.
The six-story hotel has 123 rooms and suites, two food and beverage outlets, a banquet hall, a conference room, a pool, a sauna, and a fitness center,
Syed Ali said the location of the resort is unique as it offers an unobstructed panoramic view of the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean at each side of the island.
He said, following the highly successful opening of the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences Kyoto in 2016, ANSA Okinawa is another milestone to Berjaya Group's significant investment in Japan.
"We look forward to more long-term development projects in Okinawa, such as the upcoming Four Seasons Resort & Private Residences Okinawa which is expected to commence its groundwork in the second quarter of this year," he said.
Building luxury assets in Okinawa
BLand is developing the Four Seasons Resort (125 rooms) & Private Residences (122 units), including 28 villas and a spa.
This is the first phase of development for the 41 hectares of beachfront land owned by BLand, acquired back in 2009. Phase 1 will use up one-third of the land, and completed in 2023, at a gross development cost of US$400 million.
Syed Ali said in an interview previously that earthwork is expected to start in the second quarter of this year, and the launching of the residences and villas would take place in the third quarter.
He said it would be one of the most luxurious homes in Japan while the Four Seasons Resort & Pivate Residences will be the most iconic development, setting a benchmark.
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