Japanese billionaire Kazou Okada is focusing on promoting tourism in the Philippines and is currently in talks with two of the biggest cruise liners in the world as he seeks to convince them to make the Philippines one of their stopovers. Okada has already invested into the country’s casino industry by teaming up with Filipino entrepreneur Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuanco to open out the Okada Manila facility.
The collaboration resulted in the creation of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc, the company that runs the Okada Manila integrated casino resort which is located on the Manila Bay foreshore covering 44 hectares. The casino floor covers more than 284,276 square feet and has 3,000 slot machines, 500 gaming tables, and a special Sky casino that caters to VIP customers. Okada has invested billions into the integrated casino resort which is being developed in different phases. The first phase has a Y shaped hotel that has 15 storeys and a total of 993 deluxe rooms. The casino is expected to open in November.
Tiger Resort is promoting the Okada Manila casino resort as a tourist destination as the casino accounts for just 10 percent of the facility and a major portion has been allocated for non-gaming activities. Some of the attractions include a special dancing fountain covering two hectares, a beach club and a floor-to-ceiling projection mapping. The marketing strategy is to attract tourists from China, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and America to the property.
Okada had also expressed his interest earlier this year to enter other markets in the Philippines and develop real estate, golf courses and even bid for international airport projects in a push to develop the Philippines into a bigger tourist destination.
In a statement, Maxwell Steele Zetlin, the executive director for property marketing at Tiger Resort said “In terms of investment in infrastructure and trying to ensure that the Philippines can be a destination attraction and we can handle that attraction, we will be focusing on many different projects to do, one of which he touched on before was cruise ship. Our chairman is really looking to develop the Philippines, not just Manila, and looking at 7,100 islands as well for future development. So, these projects are under discussion and will soon be under way.”
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has cracked down on the online gambling and electronic gaming industry in the country in an effort to stop locals from gambling their money away. However Steve Wolstenholme, the president of Tiger Resorts said that these measures did not threaten their company in any way and they fully backed President Duterte’s administration and his efforts to develop the country. Wolstenholme went on to say that Tiger Resort was encouraged by the government’s initiative to promote tourism in the Philippines and attract more foreign investment.
Should the Philippines win the bid to host the next Miss Universe, Tiger Resort will look to attract international visitors to its Okada Manila facility and focus especially on the Latin American market which usually has the highest number of viewers for the Miss Universe pageant.