Chinese water park wins industry honor

Updated: 2014-11-19 12:34

By Cindy Liu in Los Angeles(China Daily USA)

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A Chinese theme park has won an award from an international industry group for the first time.

Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, won the award Tuesday at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' (IAAPA) annual expo in Orlando, Florida.

The Ocean Kingdom, which is operated by the Guangzhou Chimelong Group Co Ltd, received the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The Chimelong Tourist Resort in Guangzhou, also in Guangdong, was nominated for an Applause Award, the first time an Asian theme park was nominated.

"We will keep making efforts to bring happiness to families from all over the world," Shi Yuxiong, senior consultant in the international development department of Chimelong Group, told the media. "I believe it will attract even more international visitors," said Shi, because of its proximity to Macao.

Ocean Kingdom holds the world record for the largest acrylic plate, the largest underwater viewing dome, the largest aquarium display window, the largest aquarium box and the largest aquarium.

"The most important criteria we looked at are the quality of the service, the tourists' experiences and the creativity," said Monty Lunde, TEA president, who called Ocean Kingdom "incredible" and "outstanding among all the 169 candidates".

Chinese water park wins industry honor

Lunde called his experience at Ocean Kingdom's aquarium "unforgettable."

Mario O. Mamon, IAAPA chairman, told China Daily that theme parks in the Asia-Pacific region have grown the most recently and play an increasingly important role in the industry.

"China, as a fast-developing country with a large population, is no doubt a huge market now," Mamon said. "I believe Chimelong will soon win the Applause Award."

Su Zhanpeng, vice-president of Chimelong Group, told China Daily that the company will build a hotel with 2,000 guest rooms in Zhuhai. "It will be the largest hotel in China and will boost Chimelong's business," Su said.

Spain's Port Aventura and France's Puy du Fou were also nominated for the award, with Puy du Fou taking the prize.

The Applause Award was established in 1980 by Liseberg, a world famous theme park in Gothenburg, Sweden. The award is given every two years in recognition of accomplishment in management, operations and creativity and inspiration. The judges come from the US, UK, Sweden and other Western countries.

The Applause Award has usually gone to a Western theme park. The US has won it 12 times, including awards by Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure in Orlando.

The Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort includes the Chimelong Safari Park, Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong International Circus, Crocodile Park and Chimelong Hotel, which combined see 16 million visitors a year. About 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries showcased their products and services for 17,000 industry buyers. Some 27,000 visitors attended the event.

(China Daily USA 11/19/2014 page1)