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Raffles International to operate hotel in Osaka

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 3 April 2003

Raffles International Ltd has signed a lease agreement with the Nankai Electric Railway Co. today, to operate the Nankai South Tower Hotel Osaka, Japan. Under the terms of the contract, Raffles International will re-flag and manage this 548-room deluxe hotel under the Swisstel brand. The hotel will be renamed Swisstel Osaka Nankai by September 2003.

Mr. Liew Mun Leong, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Raffles Holdings and President and Chief Executive of CapitaLand, said: "Expanding the presence of Raffles International in a major city in Japan, such as Osaka, has been one of our major goals. I am pleased that we have achieved this objective with a very established partner such as Nankai Electric Railway Co. Limited. With this agreement, we have steadily widened our hospitality footprint in Japan where we currently already have a strategic alliance to explore business opportunities." CapitaLand is the majority shareholder of Raffles Holdings.

Added Ms Jennie Chua, President and CEO of Raffles Holdings, "Japan is one of the top five source markets for our hotels in the Asia Pacific and among the top 10 for the majority of our international hotels. Our company is hence familiar with the Japanese travel market and we are fortunate to enjoy excellent ties with the Japanese travel community. The name Raffles, through our flagship Raffles Hotel in Singapore, is well-recognised and enjoys a good reputation among the Japanese. We believe that the domestic travel community and international travel market will be assured of the quality standards of Raffles International when we take over the management of the Nankai South Tower Hotel."

President of Nankai Electric Railway Co. Ltd, Mr. Makoto Yamanaka, said: "The district we call 'Minami' is where the Nankai group started, and it remains the centre of our company's business. We see it as our mission to turn Minami into an even more exciting, forward-looking district that serves as a gateway for Kansai International Airport and offers attractions for people from around the world."

He added: "This fall, our company will launch Nankai Parks, an ambitious project encompassing office buildings, entertainment facilities and a rooftop park. Since hotels are a big part of what Minami has to offer, I am delighted that this alliance with Raffles International, a well-respected international hotel management company, will benefit the upcoming Nankai Parks project."

This lease agreement for the Nankai South Tower Hotel is an important step in furthering Raffles Holdings' stated strategic objectives of expanding its geographical footprint and pursuing asset light growth in gateway cities. The Group's portfolio now expands to 38 hotels in 33 destinations worldwide.

Located in the heart of "Minami", one of the two commercial centres in Osaka, Nankai South Tower Hotel was opened in March 1990. The 36-floor super skyscraper, currently operated by Nankai South Tower Hotel Co., a subsidiary of Nankai Electric Railway, has 548 rooms and suites and nine Food and Beverage establishments. It is in the middle of the shopping district and 30 minutes to Kansai International Airport by the Airport Express Train.

The city of Osaka is the second largest commercial city and an international cultural crossroad of Japan. It has an active economy based on large-scale production and market consumption. The City of Osaka has highly concentrated wholesale and information related services that fulfill central administrative needs and support various economic activities.

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