Walking In A Wanda-land As Chinese Theme Parks Boom

Walking In A Wanda-land As Chinese Theme Parks Boom

China is poised to overtake the US to become the number-one market in theme parks, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Tuesday 8 November) at World Travel Market London.


The report says 59 theme parks are planned or being built in the country, as Chinese consumers have increasing amounts of disposable income.

International players Disney and Universal Studios Inc are focusing their attention on China’s wealthy coastal regions, while local developers are looking more to inland cities.

But China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has locked horns with Disney, opening two Wanda City theme parks in 2016, with more in the pipeline.

He is the founder of China’s largest player, Dalian Wanda Group, which opened the US$3 billion Nanchang Wanda City in May, followed by Wanda City in Hefei in September – both with a greater Chinese cultural focus and ticket prices half those of Disney.


Euromonitor International predicts the value of theme park sales in China will rocket from US$4.6 billion in 2015 to nearly US$12 billion by 2020, with visitor numbers surpassing 330 million. In the US, theme park sales were US$8 billion in 2015, and are forecast to top US$9 billion by 2020.

The rise in China has been rapid – in 2013, the Chinese government lifted a ban on theme park approval, enabling parks under US$800 million to be approved at the provincial level, encouraging investors.

Lewa Happy World opened in Xian in 2015, and the US$5.5 billion Disneyland Shanghai opened in June 2016, catering to Chinese consumer tastes.

The first international theme park for Western China, Chongqing Riverside-Six Flags Theme Town, will open in 2019.

John Duffey, President and Chief Executive at Six Flags Entertainment Group, said: “The platform for growth in Chongqing is great and the perfect formula for our industry. There is a significant population, a growing middle class, growing disposable income and a limited theme park presence.”


Theme parks are proving popular in other Asian countries, such as 20th Century Fox World in Malaysia, and Lotte World in South Korea being a hit with Chinese visitors, said the WTM Global Trends Report.

Meanwhile, Wanda Group plans to expand overseas and take on international competitors.

The report said Wanda Group has taken the “bold step” of launching EuropaCity – a US$3 billion project incorporating a theme park and shopping mall near Paris.

The mix of shopping and attractions will be an attractive combination for a mix of nationalities and ages when it opens in 2021.

A further two overseas parks are planned by Wanda but locations have yet to be fixed.

Euromonitor International Head of Travel Caroline Bremner said: “The size and speed of these theme park developments is breathtaking.

“Annual theme park sales in China are rapidly catching up with the two leading markets: the US and Japan. China will soon overtake them to become the biggest market in the world by some margin.”

World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Billions are being invested in these theme parks, catering for Chinese families and their rising disposable incomes – and Chinese developers are looking to the West for further opportunities.

“With China being the largest outbound market for tourists, existing theme park operators can take advantage of this trend, as the Dalian Wanda Group is expanding its empire outside of China.”


WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).




World Travel Market London

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.

WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.  www.wtmworld.com


Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.


About Reed Exhibitions


Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.


About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.


To receive your free 2016 WTM Global Trends Report copy, please register here: http://go.euromonitor.com/WTM-London-2016.html

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