China’s theme parks rank among world’s top 10

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

wangzhuo­qiong@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Theme parks in Asia, es­pe­cially those in China, ex­pe­ri­enced good mar­ket growth in 2015 due to peo­ple’s grow­ing af­flu­ence, a surge in tourism and the con­tin­ued in­vest­ment by de­vel­op­ers in up­grad­ing their fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try con­sul­tant Aecom.

“We would ex­pect the Chi­nese main­land to have a growth of 4 to 7 per­cent with Hong Kong show­ing a slight de­cline due to fall­ing visi­ta­tion. Growth in Ja­pan and Korea would be rel­a­tively flat since few new at­trac­tions opened. Look­ing ahead, the open­ing of Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort will likely be the big event in Asia,” said Chris Yoshii, vice pres­i­dent of Aecom Asia Pa­cific.

“This sends a mes­sage to the in­dus­try that peo­ple are pre­pared to pay for qual­ity in this mar­ket and this demon­stra­ble abil­ity to han­dle higher prices will move the en­tire sec­tor to­ward higher qual­ity. Con­tin­ual in­vest­ment is nec­es­sary to main­tain growth, and parks need to be able to raise prices to sup­port the cost of new at­trac­tions, cre­at­ing mag­i­cal, in­no­va­tive vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences that in turn con­tinue to build the mar­ket of sat­is­fied pa­trons,” added Yoshii.

Three Asian com­pa­nies — OCT, Chime­l­ong and Songcheng — are ranked among the top 10 theme park groups in the world. Ac­cord­ing to Aecom’s an­nual re­port on the theme park in­dus­try, OCT’s suc­cess is pri­mar­ily due to the ad­di­tion of new parks and the com­pany’s abil­ity to keep the growth of their ex­ist­ing ones fairly sta­ble.

“We will see more from th­ese three groups. Ex­pand­ing ge­o­graph­i­cally is OCT while Chime­l­ong and Songcheng both have sev­eral new projects in the pipe­line as well,” said Yoshii.

Chime­l­ong made the top 10 for the first time fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful open­ing of the Chime­l­ong In­ter­na­tional Ocean Re­sort in 2014. The re­sort’s Chime­l­ong Ocean King­dom theme park has been highly pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies de­spite its com­par­a­tively hefty price tag of 350 yuan ($53) — 80 per­cent higher than the usual mar­ket rate of 200 yuan.

The com­pany had also added two more ho­tels in 2015, bring­ing the re­sort’s com­bined room to­tal to around 5,000.

Songcheng, which has been ag­gres­sively grow­ing in re­cent years, banked on the ad­di­tion of new cul­tural parks and show venues in a num­ber of cities to boost its growth. The com­pany had also built a new 4,500-seat the­ater that hosts live his­tor­i­cal dra­mas in its Hangzhou park in Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, ef­fec­tively dou­bling the fa­cil­ity’s vis­i­tors ca­pac­ity.

Chris Yoshii,

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