Joe Jackson, the father of late pop superstar Michael Jackson, has lent his star billing to a $2 billion hotel-entertainment complex called “Happyland” in Vietnam.
Jackson was on hand at the official groundbreaking ceremony over the weekend, as work started on the major development project in southern Long An province.
He is also expected to invest in a five-star hotel forming part of the project.
Compared to Disneyland by lead investor Khang Thong Group, the project will also include a water park, film studio, theatres, a riverfront boardwalk, restaurants and other facilities, according to the group.
“My wish is to promote this project to all friends across the world so that they understand more about your country,” Jackson told Vietnamese television.
During a live broadcast of the groundbreaking ceremony, Jackson added his legendary son – who died in 2009 – “lived to make people happy and I am proud to maintain that, making Vietnamese people happier”.
Deputy prime minister Nguyen Thien Nhan explained Happyland would be “the largest tourism project in South Vietnam and south-east Asia”.
Happyland is expected to open in 2014.
Nhan went on to added the “international-standard” project near the southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City aimed to draw 14 million visitors a year including three million foreigners.