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Reports chart ongoing growth of Chinese theme parks

Reports chart ongoing growth of Chinese theme parks
August 5, 2019

Ongoing growth in China's theme parks market has been reported on by the China Daily, indicating that attractions development, which has sometimes been criticised by the Chinese Government, is back in favour.

Highlighting theme parks as "the next big chapter in China's ongoing consumption upgrade saga, after the surge in outbound tourism flights and a spike in cinema screens' the China Daily refers to the USA-based Themed Entertainment Association's assertion that China will home to the world's largest theme park facilities by next year.

It also cites a 2019 report from the World Travel Market that predicted that theme park-related retail sales are projected to hit US$12 billion by 2020, up 367% compared to 2010.

That translates to 330 million people visiting one theme park or another by 2020 in the world's second-largest economy.

The World Travel Market (WTM) prediction attributed such optimistic growth projections to an expanding middle-income group that has the capacity and willingness for discretionary spending, advising "people want to pamper themselves through a variety of entertainment."

The WTM report continued “leisure attractions in China are becoming increasingly popular as disposable incomes in the country grow. ANZ Bank believes China's middle-and upper-middle-income earners will take up half of GDP consumption by 2030.

“Some 326 million people are projected to join this group in the next 15 years or so.

“Theme parks' development in China has seen three phases so far. After the baby steps of the 1991-2000 period, Chinese leisure companies increased scale until 2015.Then on, the industry marched into what real estate consultancy Colliers calls the ‘third era’ of mega projects, international brands, intellectual property or IP rights, and Chinese finance.”

The WTM report advises that the Shanghai Disney Resort, which opened in June 2016, as exemplifying this trend with its of retail and hotels linked to the theme park complex.

Disney is tipped to dominate the country's US$204 billion media and entertainment industry, according to professional services provider PwC.

The industry now boasts big names such as Disney's long-time competitor Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and new entrants such as Shanghai Andersen Paradise.

The latest edition of the annual AECOM/Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Theme Index identified three Chinese theme park operators - OCT Parks China, Fantawild and Chimelong Group - among the world’s top 10 in terms of number of visitors last year.

Adding to this mix, Beijing is developing what will be the world's largest Universal Studios while Hong Kong-listed Shimao Group has also announced that it will build eight outdoor and water theme parks.

Over the past decade, the industry has suffered setbacks. For instance, in July 2017, Chinese developer Dalian Wanda Group sold a majority stake in 13 of its theme parks to rival developer Sunac China.

Among the projects in that deal was Nanchang Wanda City, which the company opened last year. Prior to the sale, Wanda's Chairman Wang Jianlin had talked it up as a competitor to Shanghai Disneyland.

Images: Guests and costume characters at Shanghai Disneyland (top), concepts for the Universal Studios Beijing resort (middle) and Wanda's Nanjing indoor theme park (below).

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15th June 2019 - Global Attractions industry participate in record-breaking IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 in Shanghai 

13th June 2019 - Dynamic Attractions to create rides for Jialong Parks China

23rd May 2019 - Attendance at the world’s themed attractions exceeds half a billion visits for the first time in history

4th April 2019 - Roaming recycling bins introduced at Shanghai Disney Resort

16th August 2018 - GTI Asia China Expo reveals massive opportunities in China’s amusement sector

14th July 2018 - Twin Cities World Tourism Association to be founded at PATA Travel Mart 2018

15th June 2018 - Wanda opens indoor theme park in Chinese city of Nanjing

18th May 2018 - Historic levels of growth in global theme park industry in 2017

13th April 2018 - Chinese Government looks to slow theme park development boom

31st August 2017 - Evergrande Group to build 15 Children’s World theme parks across China

5th September 2015 - More than 50 theme parks under development in China


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