Hilton Worldwide Holdings is in discussion with the government of Hiroshima Prefecture to build the city’s first international brand-name hotel, complete with extensive meeting facilities, in an effort to encourage more business events to convene in the region.
Emiko Ogami, a spokeswoman for Hilton Worldwide, told TTGmice that the prefecture requested a full-service hotel that is able to meet the needs of major, international conferences of at least 1,000 people.
Local authorities have provided a 6,400m2 site that is 1.7 km south-west of Hiroshima’s shinkansen station for the planned new hotel. The cost of the project has been estimated at between 20 billion yen (US$177.2 million) and 30 billion yen.
The prefecture anticipates that the completed hotel will create 450 new jobs and add 5.3 billion yen to the broader local economy annually. The new hotel is scheduled to open in 2022.
“Hiroshima has very few hotels with the capacity to host large-scale meetings, but this is one of the largest and most important cities in western Japan. We believe that if we have the facilities, then more conventions and events will choose to come here,” said Yukiko Yoshimoto, manager of Setouchi, a DMO that is working with Hiroshima Prefecture on the project.
Well-known as the target of the first atomic bomb, Hiroshima is high on the list of many foreign visitors to Japan, and is similarly in demand among business events planners. Universities and research facilities in the city are world-leaders in the study on the impact of radiation, for example, and the local government believes there are opportunities to attract more international conventions and meetings.
Moreover, local authorities believe that a major international brand hotel with state-of-the-art meeting facilities will further boost the city’s profile for events, in line with the growing appeal of Japan for business events.
Hiroshima hosted 37 international conferences in 2012, a figure that climbed to 76 in 2016, placing Hiroshima 12th of all Japanese cities for business events.