Theme park operator Huis Ten Bosch Co. plans to fly a charter flight between Nagasaki and Bangkok within the year to attract Southeast Asian tourists, President Hideo Sawada said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.
Asia Atlantic Airlines, a subsidiary of travel agency H.I.S. Co., will operate the flight, said Sawada who doubles as chairman of H.I.S. that also owns the theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. The carrier operates flights between Thailand and Japan.
"We will try one flight within this year and increase the frequency to eventually launch regular flights," he said. "Passengers will be advised to tour Kyushu."
Sawada also said the theme park will invite 60 foreign cruise ships to call at Nagasaki and Sasebo ports next year.
Huis Ten Bosch hopes to raise the proportion of foreign visitors to the theme park to 20 percent within a few years from about 8 percent at present.
On the around 800 million yen in annual financial aid it is receiving from the city of Sasebo over 10 years from fiscal 2010, Sawada said, "We will not return to the red in the future and would like to shorten the period for receiving aid to five years."
He also unveiled a plan to build an airport near Huis Ten Bosch if the theme park is allowed to open a casino.
From various locations in Japan and the rest of Asia, 70-to-100-seat aircraft will fly to the airport, he said.