South Korean government gave the nod to Filipino casino operator Bloomberry Resorts to build a major hotel and resort complex in Muuido, an island right next to Korea’s main air travel hub Incheon International Airport.
The Korean trade ministry said on Wednesday that it has approved designating a 445,000-square-meter economic development site in Muuido, an island off the eastern coast of South Korea and right next to Incheon International Airport, as a free economic zone. Following the decision, the site, dubbed “Muuido Solaire resort complex development area,” will accommodate hotels and leisure facilities to be developed by Bloomberry Resorts, the Philippines’ major lodging and leisure services company.
The Muuido Solaire resort complex development area is part of a district that was previously designated as a free economic zone but lost the rights in 2014 due to long project delays.
But recently, there has been a foreign direct investment of $500 million committed for the special zone and other business conditions have improved, allowing the Korean government to re-open the free trade zone, said an Incheon Free Economic Zone official.
Having received an official go-ahead to develop a resort complex in Muuido, the Filipino casino tycoon plans to build hotels and leisure facilities such as a water park by investing 1.5 trillion won ($1.4 billion). The company aims to complete developing the complex by 2022 and open the facilities to the public in 2023.
Incheon Free Economic Zone expects the new resort complex in Muuido island will help attracting 1.4 million visitors from home and abroad every year.
Bloomberry Resorts currently operates a casino in Jeju Island, Korea’s popular resort destination in down south, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Solaire Korea Co.
By Ji Hong-goo and Cho Jeehyun
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