Okada eyes airport PPP projects


Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada may participate in the Philippines’ public-private partnership projects, particularly in the bidding for international airports, business partner Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco said.

On the sidelines of the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc.’s media launch of Okada Manila, Cojuangco said Okada wants to bid for international airports under the PPP.

“Mr. Okada expressed his desire to be able to bid for the international airports. He believes that the airport is your first contact with the foreign tourists,” Cojuangco said, who is also a member of the Tiger Resort’s Board of Directors.

“So if your airports are well-designed and are efficient, people will talk about your country and keep coming back. The tourists come… the better,” Cojuangco said, relaying his conversation with Okada.

A partnership between the Japanese casino magnate Kazuo Okada and Cojuangco, Okada Manila, formerly Manila Bay resorts, will have its soft opening for the first phase of the facility in November.

It will be the third casino hotel complex at the Entertainment City in Parañaque City. It will occupy more than 44 hectares at the foreshore of Manila Bay, which is three kilometers away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

With a total floor area of 26,410.77 square meters, housing more than 500 table games and more than 3,000 electronic gaming machines, Okada Manila is set to be the largest casino resort in the country.

Takahiro Usui, Tiger Resort chief operating officer, has said that to complete the three or four phases of Okada Manila, the firm’s investment could rise to $4 billion from the previously announced investment of $2.4 billion.

One of its main highlights is the indoor Night Club/Beach Club Entertainment Complex, the largest indoor beach in Southeast Asia with real white sand.

“He [Okada] is here for the long term, and he is here to support what the Philippines needs to be globally recognized as a hospitality destination,” Steve Wolstenholme, president of Tiger Resort said.

In addition, Okada is also looking at expanding to other Philippine islands, most probably in Palawan and Davao, as he wants to build more resort and golf courses outside Metro Manila.

“As far as areas are concerned, I think our chairman is continuously looking. There’s no specific area; he’s very enamored by many of the islands particularly around Palawan.

“That way, we don’t have to go to the Bahamas, we don’t have to go to Fiji, because there is here—the Philippines,” Wolstenholme added.


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