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Is Korea Asia’s new casino tourism hub?


Is Korea Asia’s new casino tourism hub?

 “What is bad news for Macau has turned out to be a boon for its neighbour, Korea, which is turning out to be the perfect destination for tourists who seek an alternative to Las Vegas.”

Macau is considered to be a gambling and casino tourism hub, but with China is upping its ante against fighting corruption, Macau’s revenue from this lucrative source has seen a major dip in recent times. The glitz of Macau and Las Vegas is being replicated at entertainment centres being built in Korea and is being lapped up by casino-hungry tourists.

New proposal that paves the path

The concept of integrated resorts has caught the tourist imagination as it is a heady combination of leisure and entertainment zones like gaming centres, hotels, shopping zones and restaurants. Foreseeing the dazzling future in the casino business and an opportunity to make headway in the Asian Gaming Market, the Tourism and Culture Ministry has green-lighted three proposals for building integrated resorts. This also includes a foreigner’s-only resort. The three resorts are Paradise City on Yeongjong Island near Incheon International Airport, LIPPO and Caesars (LOCZ) and Inspire.

While Inspire has a launch date in 2020, Paradise City is expected to throw its doors to the gambling community in early 2017. However, the joint venture between Indonesia-based LIPPO and Caesars Entertainment, pegged at $2 Billion, is under a cloud of uncertainty. LIPPO is said to be re-evaluating its $739 million stake while the Caesars operating unit has an $18 billion debt and filing for bankruptcy protection. This has further puts the project in a state of unsteadiness.

LIPPO is said to have talks with Caesars Entertainment about a tentative stake sale and the entry of a third party investor is also expected as a result of this. The company is, at this stage, unwilling to invest in the gaming project. However, Industry sources and ministry officials are confident that this will not have a negative impact on the growth of the casino tourism business in Korea and the upward trend would continue as expected.

Promises and prospective in favour of Korea

Korea’s position as a top casino tourism hub seems to hold much promise, especially since there are three major resorts being planned in the near future. In addition to this, these integrated resorts will also have provisions to include hallyu entertainment which is a huge draw for Asian tourists from the surrounding countries.

There has been tremendous interest from the Government to promote this exciting new entertainment zone which promises a huge influx of tourists from all over the world. Since it is bound to have a major positive impact on the local tourism as well, the authorities have plans to augment the casinos from 17 to 20 by 2020.

As per numbers, it seems there has been a growth in the number of international tourists and Chinese too, which augurs well to promote Korea as Asia Latest casino tourism hub.

Due to the foreigners- only tag attached to a majority of the gambling casinos, the influx of tourists is going to be a crucial factor in determining the success of the casino tourism wave Korea is planning to ride.




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