Greater Osaka, a region famed for its cultural and economic significance in Japan, is experiencing a notable resurgence, marked by a diverse array of investments and tourism-driven growth.
Breaking down investment volume in Greater Osaka by sector, the hotel sector stands out, accounting for the highest share at 37%. Industrial investments follow closely at 34%, with office, retail, and residential sectors at 21%, 4%, and 3%, respectively. Notable hotel transactions, such as the acquisition of ‘The Rihga Royal Hotel’ by Bentall-GreenOak from Royal Hotel in March, valued at over JPY 50 billion, underscore the prominence of this sector. Hotel deals are on the rise in anticipation of Greater Osaka’s tourism boom.
The region’s economy is showing signs of recovery following the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent data from the Japan Tourism Agency reveals that in May 2023, the total number of overnight guests exceeded pre-pandemic levels, reaching 103% in Osaka and 101% in Greater Osaka. This resurgence, with 108% for Japanese guests and 96% for overseas guests, indicates a return to normalcy.
Osaka is poised to further enhance its economic prospects as it gears up to host EXPO 2025. In preparation for the event, the city is undergoing significant developments:
- Kansai International Airport Renovation: The airport, serving as a vital gateway to Osaka, is undergoing a large-scale renovation.
- Osaka Metro Expansion: Extending the Osaka Metro system is improving land-based access from the city center to Yumeshima, the EXPO venue.
- Hanshin Expressway Construction: Enhancements to the expressway network are set to improve connectivity between Osaka and its surrounding areas.
Additionally, Yumeshima will soon welcome an Integrated Resort (IR) in 2030, featuring a vast multi-purpose facility spanning approximately 770,000 sqm. This development will encompass international conference halls, casinos, hotels, entertainment, dining, and retail facilities. The project is projected to create 116,000 jobs during the construction phase and employ 15,000 individuals within the IR facility in its third year of operation. An estimated 19.87 million visitors are anticipated in the IR area, with 123.35 million visitors expected in the Greater Osaka region, including Wakayama, Shiga, and Fukui prefectures.
With the EXPO and IR initiatives acting as catalysts, Osaka is poised to attract an increasing number of visitors, both domestic and international. This influx is anticipated to drive sustainable and stable economic growth in both Osaka city and the Greater Osaka area, revitalizing the real estate market in the process.