• Kyodo

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Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is planning to open a Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel — the group’s highest standard of accommodation — in Osaka by 2025 ahead of the World Expo in the city, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Hilton will build Japan’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel near Osaka Station as it anticipates a recovery in travel demand among wealthy people in the post-pandemic era, the sources said. The chain is also planning to open a hotel of the same brand in Tokyo’s Nihombashi district in 2026.

In addition to the Waldorf Astoria hotel, Hilton is also considering launching its upscale Canopy hotel brand in an area formerly used for a freight station in Osaka. The hotels will be constructed together with offices and apartments, they said.

Hilton has pointed out that Japan lacks high-end accommodation that caters to affluent visitors from elsewhere in Asia and that demand for such hotels will continue.

“We had been considering the establishment of a luxury hotel brand in the Kansai area, expecting demand to grow substantially,” said a source familiar with the matter.

As part of an urban development project near Osaka Station, the Grand Front Osaka complex featuring a shopping mall, an Intercontinental hotel, offices and apartments opened in 2013.

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