China’s theme park industry is set to become the world’s largest by 2020, say analysts quoted in an article run by South China Morning Post.
“The Chinese theme park market is growing rapidly,” said Tim Mackey, from law firm Paul Hastings. “China represents a massive and growing market of consumers who have more money to spend on entertainment and media products than ever before.”
The country’s growing middle class is the key factor here, say analysts, and with an increased popularity of Western brands and culture in China - there is more demand than ever for both domestic and international theme parks.
“Naturally, this makes China very attractive to the major US industry players,” he said. “Disney and many of its peers have already made substantial investments in China.”
While interest in the industry has “cooled” since the opening of Shanghai Disneyland and China’s economic slowdown, Markus Schuckert, assistant professor of tourism management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, says he sees the sector picking up again.
The industry, he believes, will develop in places where parks can be operated in a profitable way, such as in cities like Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangdong, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.
“China is a very big market. This is definitely an asset,” Schuckert said.
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