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Tourist mecca coming to Naha Airport area

Date Posted: 2006-12-01

A pair of new tourism construction projects will put a new face on southern Okinawa resort operations.

Plans for five companies to begin land reclamation work adjacent to Naha International Airport were announced this week, the first step in constructing a tourism complex that will include a hotel, shopping mall and restaurants. Tomishiro City and Okinawa Prefecture endorsed the project by Charming Resort Okinawa, a company which will build the facilities in Toyozaki Town as Laguna Village Resort.

A second resort project is earmarked for Itoman City, to be built on reclaimed land in the Nishizaki area. City planners say Itoman Fisherman’s Wharf Friendship Hotel project will be built by two companies. Apartments planning company Yamato-Chisho and Zefaa Real Estate Company have been selected unofficially by Itoman City. Zefaa is also linked to the airport area resort project.

Charming Resort Okinawa is promising a hotel with more than 500 rooms, a shopping mall facing the ocean, and a thalasso spa, for its airport resort. The new resort is set to open in 2010.

“We want to have a share of the Okinawa tourism business,” says Tomishiro City Mayor Houmei Kinjo. “We want our city to be the tourism entrance to Okinawa.” The Prefecture Land Development Bureau chairman calls the proposed resort “good for tourists because of its location next to the airport.” He predicts the hotel will operate ‘full’ because of its proximity to the airport.

The Tomishiro Project is tagged with a ¥26,000,000,000 budget to construct the 68,200 square meter resort and shopping mall. Real estate company Zefaa says the International Convention Room Hotel will be true convention center hotel, occupying 56,300 square meters filled with international class amenities. Parking Pro Company will build the spa, complete with hot springs.

An estimated 490 new jobs will be created by the Laguna Village Resort project. Nippon Rent-a-Car will establish a multi-tourism Okinawa sightseeing center within the complex, and the Honda Technology Industrial Institute has announced plans for a dealership showcasing cars and motorcycles.

Planners say 14 companies have already signed on for food courts and restaurants at Laguan Village Resort.

Itoman’s Fisherman’s Wharf Friendship Hotel will feature both hotels, villas, and apartments. The hotel will encompass 54,800 square meters, with construct costs estimated at ¥30,000 per square meter. Officials say the hotel is owned by overseas interests. A small shopping mall with a manmade beach opened this spring on the site.

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