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New JAL Hotel should boost Kokusai fortunes

Date Posted: 2006-07-14

Yamakataya Department Store was a fixture on Kokusai Street for 78 years.

When it folded four years ago, Kokusai businesses were fearful for their futures. Today, smiles are returning as Japan Air Lines Tuesday opened its new Naha Hotel. Construction took two years, but JAL Hotel Group’s general manager, Masanori Suzuki, says the new hotel will serve both tourists and business visitors to central Naha. The hotel doesn’t own the land, which is being held by a real estate company, Charming Resort Okinawa ZECS Group.

ZECS President Atsunobu Sakata says the hotel will serve a resorts oriented clientele, while also providing quality services to businessmen visiting the islands. “Our first year we’ll only have 72% room occupancy,” he says, but predicts ¥1,200,000,000 in revenues for the year. The new hotel has hired 83 new workers.

Another ZECS Group executive promises the Naha hotel is just the beginning. “We will build two more hotels here in Okinawa in the next three years,” he says, “and then begin after 5-10 years building houses for seniors citizens and island style hotels for the general population visitors.

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