Chinese Theme Parks in Need of Creative Designs and Planning

January 22, 2017, 10:40 PM

2017 Asia Amusement & Attractions Expo (AAA 2017)
Former name:CIAE(China Guangzhou Int'l Game & Amusement Exhibition) & TPAE (China Guangzhou Int’l Theme Parks & Attractions Industry Exhibition)
Date: March 8th-11th, 2017
Venue: China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou City, China

Since the success of Splendid China in the late 1980s triggered an investment fever of theme parks, by now there are altogether over 2800 theme park projects in China. However, 90% of these project ended unfinished or went out of business within a few years. A report in 2015 suggests that nowadays 70% China’s theme parks are in deficit; 20% can merely make ends meet; only 20% manage to turn a profit. Does it mean China market is saturation? The answer is no!

China to Be the World’s Biggest Theme Park Market
But don’t mistake it for Chinese residents lacking buying power for recreation. In fact, China is one of the theme park markets with the most potentials. According to Euromonitor International, by 2020 the annual revenue generated by theme parks in China will increase to 12 billion USD, exceeding America by 3 billion USD, and become the biggest theme park market in the world. There is also data indicating that in the next 25-30 years, Chinese market will have room for another 10 or more theme parks with the scale of Disneyland.

Homogenization Hindering Chinese Theme Parks From Profiting
Therefore, the problems that are hindering Chinese theme parks from profiting actually lie in those theme parks themselves. And one of the major problems has been identified to be homogenization. Firstly, most of China’s so-call theme parks don’t have a very clear and distinct theme. Without cultural connotation, they are not so much theme parks as a pile of fancy equipment. Secondly, in order to yield high return with low investment in as short a time as possible, some developers just simply follow others’ successful examples. For instance, according to incomplete statistics, there were once over 50 theme parks themed on the Journey to the West, and over 30 cultural villages.

Investment Fever in Theme Parks to Continue
However, subsequent investors are not daunted by the failures of their predecessors, because with a market worth billions of USD, the temptation is hard to resist. It has been predicted that during 2015-2020, at lest 60 more theme parks will be built in China. For example, recently Wanda Group has reached an agreement with the Hunan government to invest 100 billion RMB in building Wanda City and Wanda Square in Changsha. And with Happy Valley Chongqing still under construction, Oversea Chinese Town (OCT) has declared its plan to invest over 20 billion RMB in a new Happy Valley in Fujian Province.

Chinese Investors to Actively Cooperating With Oversea Designers
With such a massive influx of investment in theme park development, considerable capitals are expected to march into the design and panning sectors, especially when former failures have fully shown the importance of creativity and innovation to the survival of a theme park. For instance, this January, the Evergrande Group has paid a large sum of money to hire 7 oversea top designers for its Evergrand Children’s World project, such as Dary Le Blanc from STANTEC, Dan Thomas from IDEATTACK, etc, most of whom have taken part in some of the most successful theme park projects in the world, including Tokyo Disney Sea, Lotte World in Korea, Sea World in America, etc.

It is foreseeable that with so many theme parks to be built in China, a large number of creative and innovative designs and plans will be needed. If you have rich experience in theme park design and planning, it is the best time for you to enter Chinese market through AAA 2017 (2017 Asia Amusement & Attraction Expo), one of the biggest and most influential theme park and attraction show in Asia!

Replies (6)

January 23, 2017, 12:57 PM

Is this an advertisement?

Or are you hiring?

What does it pay, can I work mostly from outside of China, and where do I send my resume?

January 23, 2017, 1:32 PM

China can build theme parks, but they can't keep the customers. Just be a builder. The parks fall apart after a few years and abandoned. The Wanda Group closed some parks. Despite Wanda Group's strong criticism of Disney, they easily lift Disney's ideas and characters in their own parks without attribution. They can waste their money. They are overflowing with money to waste.

January 23, 2017, 2:21 PM


January 23, 2017, 5:37 PM

I'm almost tempted to not hit the spam button just for the creative responses.

January 23, 2017, 10:20 PM

Sounds like a job for the latest Theme Park Apprentice winner?

January 24, 2017, 4:37 AM

Douglas Hindley, the latest Theme Park Apprentice winner, is in Paris right now, doing some research on Disneyland Paris (no, I'm not kidding), but he told me to let the "powers that be" to contact him and he'd love to talk (hey, those with a long memory might remember that I won the Tournament of Champions a few years ago ;+)

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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