Theme park

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By BLOOMBERG

Shang­hai Dis­ney draws 4 mil­lion vis­i­tors in first four months.

Walt Dis­neyCo said its new $5.5 billion Shang­hai theme park at­tracted four mil­lion vis­i­tors in its first four months and will be close to break­ing even in its first full year of op­er­a­tion in 2017.

About 50 per­cent of the park’s guests are from out­side the Shang­hai area, a “big sur­prise” as the Chi­nese city had been ex­pected to ac­count for more than three-quar­ters of vis­i­tors, Dis­ney Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Bob Iger said in an in­ter­view with Bloomberg TV on Thurs­day. “The fact that it’s so bal­anced leads us to be­lieve that word of mouth on this and the in­tent to visit from well be­yond Shang­hai is very, very high,” he said.

The Shang­hai theme park, Dis­ney’s first in the Chi­nese main­land and its largest for­eign in­vest­ment, opened in June as the com­pany races to cap­ture the coun­try’s grow­ing mid­dle class and dom­i­nate its $180 billion me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. The com­pany has also started pro­duc­ing movies in Asia’s largest econ­omy.

China Se­cu­ri­ties In­ter­na­tional tourism an­a­lyst Jen­nifer So ex­pects the park will get 15 mil­lion vis­i­tors in its first twelve months of op­er­a­tions, while Mac­quarie Cap­i­tal an­a­lyst Tim Nollen es­ti­mates the park will get 15.7 mil­lion an­nual vis­i­tors by fis­cal 2019.

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