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

Updated: 2016-01-30 03:38

By WANG ZHUOQIONG in Beijing(China Daily USA)

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

Theme parks in China have experienced major growth in recent years. Photo provided to china daily

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.