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Big changes in other tourist spots too
WHILE Seoul undergoes a remarkable pace of development, Busan, the second largest city in Korea, is not far behind. The resort island of Jeju is also fast catching up, with the landmark Jeju Shinhwa development set to radically change the market.
Firstly, Minor Hotels has announced the opening of Avani Busan Hotel in 2019. Currently under development, the 400-key property will be ideally situated in the East Busan Tourism Complex Zone, a haven for both shopping and entertainment.
The new upscale hotel will offer an all-day dining restaurant, event space and meeting rooms, a rooftop specialty bar, a Korean style bathhouse and spa, a gym and a swimming pool. In addition to the hotel, 136 exclusive branded residences will be included in the development.
In the northern part of Busan, the Osiria Tourism Complex, formerly known as the East Busan Tourism Complex, is currently under construction in Gijang-eup, with an investment of four trillion won (S$4.75 billion). The project kicked off in 2006 and a total of 34 facilities, including a theme park, an aquarium, hotels and shopping malls, are eventually scheduled to be housed in the complex with an area of 3.66 million square metres.
Among the confirmed investments are the Osiria Theme Park, an Ikea store and Skyline Enterprise.
The Osiria Theme Park, which claims to be triple the size of the Lotte World Theme Park in Seoul, will be ready by the last quarter of 2019. There will be 31 new mid-sized and large attractions in the theme park, including the non-motorised luge of Skyline New Zealand, a world-renowned amusement facility company. It is also believed to include thrill rides, super large roller-coasters, outdoor lakes and plazas, indoor play facilities, and kids' parks.
To bring visitors easily to these attractions, the transport infrastructure has also been upgraded. Busan International Airport will have a 3,200-metre-long runway, new terminal, facilities and infrastructure by 2021.
Connections have also been boosted with the opening earlier this year of the new Donghae Line, the sixth metro line in Busan.
The new line is the first stage of a metro connection between the coastal cities of Busan and Ulsan, and stretches from Bujeon station to Ilgwang station in Gijang county.
The new line is expected to ease travel connections to Gijang county and the south-east of Busan, and it is hoped it will also stimulate development of surrounding areas and reduce traffic congestion.
In Jeju, the Jeju Shinhwa Theme Park, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter, is set to be one of the most exciting developments on the resort island.
With a total land area of about 280,000 sq m, Shinhwa Theme Park will comprise seven distinct and exciting zones, taking the visitor into the depths of incredible myths as well as an exploration into the ancient stories of medieval times. The world's greatest myths and historical tales are brought to life through an immersive environment, magical rides and attractions, cultural exhibits and exciting live performances.
One of these is Lionsgate, Outdoor Movie Theme Park, scheduled to open in 2019. The first of its kind by Lionsgate, the outdoor movie theme park is set to open in Jeju Shinhwa World. It will be a world-class theme park that combines state-of-the-art rides, attractions, shows, themed dining and retail experiences to immerse guests within some of the world's most popular films ever produced.
The Shinhwa Water Park, scheduled to open in 2018, will be Jeju's first and largest water park.
With a massive area of 13,000 sq m, this ticketed attraction is sure to be an absolutely thrilling and fun experience for families and children alike, featuring a wave pool, a slew of water slides, adult pools, family pools and a toddlers' area. Cabanas can be rented for guests who prefer to have more privacy.
And to make sure all guests can be accommodated, the Shinhwa Hotels, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter, will offer over 2,000 room selections ranging from comfortable family services to exclusive VIP treatment.
The hotel will provide convenient and easy access to the various attractions and promises exclusive privacy in the villas of travellers' choice. Naturally in-house amenities such as gym, sauna, treatment rooms and interesting dining experiences will all be available soon as well.
The MICE (meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions) market will also be taken care of with state-of-the-art facilities. Jeju Shinhwa World will offer MICE facilities with a versatile choice of venues, catering for everything from mega conventions and exhibitions with formal receptions to the intimate small and medium events. One of the highlights is the exclusive and gigantic 2,000 sq m pillar-free ballroom designed for the special event or business functions.
The retail element is not forgotten, with Shinhwa Shoppes, also opening in the fourth quarter, boasting more than 20,000 sq m of retail and F&B spaces.
Jeju Shinhwa World promises to be a one-stop retail shopping district with some of the most popular high-end and mid-end brands, cosmetic and beauty labels all under one roof for a fantastic shopping experience.
Topping off the experience will be Shinhwa Entertainment, also scheduled to open in the fourth quarter, which will be the centre of the nightlife scene.
Those looking for the lifestyle experience will have their needs catered for at Shinhwa Villas. Comprising a total of 1,518 premium units, including 228 villas and 1,290 condominiums, with unit sizes ranging from 154 to 1,221 sq m, Jeju Shinhwa World includes premium properties that will be launched over two phases.
These high-end properties will cater to various buyer demands that include holiday and vacation homes, overseas studies purpose, investment opportunities, retirement homes, as well as provide an investment immigration opportunity.
The Somerset Jeju Shinhwa offers a home away from home in expansive three-bedroom family suite units with stylish interiors that are thoughtfully furnished. It also offers a wide range of modern amenities.
To cope with the increase in visitors that these developments are expected to bring, Jeju's transportation infrastructure has also been expanded. A new airport will be built on the eastern part of the island, with completion scheduled for 2025 at the latest.