Trends in China
From mega hotels popping up to excursions to suburban eco-parks, the latest market trends and developments in China are wide-ranging with an impact on all attraction types. Chris Yoshii, vice president of economics and global director of leisure and culture for AECOM, shared insights into what’s new and evolving in the country.
- Big theme parks are only getting bigger, and parks are being built in urban areas, particularly second- and third-tier cities in new market areas. “The reality is the consumer is still there. The marketing is getting better. The theme parks are working very hard to get more visitors,” said Yoshii.
- Nighttime parties at water parks are bringing in a whole different crowd than daytime attendance. For Chimelong in particular, the metro brings young people straight to the gates for evening parties, opening another revenue stream.
- Mega hotels and hotels paired with attractions are beginning to take the place of the luxury hotel experience. These mega hotels offer big theming, and a stay can also be paired with attraction admission.
- Mall development continues to drive family entertainment center (FEC) growth. As e-commerce begins to take the place of retail, these malls are adding food and beverage in addition to entertainment to fill the space. FECs have great potential for these spaces because of their ability to be small enough to fit in a mall. These FECs are incorporating interactive elements.
- Super parks are increasing. These warehouse-like spaces contain multiple different sports activities, like trampolines, that can be moved around based on visitation trends. They can stay open through the evening, drawing adult crowds at night.
- Esport centers are being built to host massive video game competitions, at both the professional and casual level.
- Selfies are king: Media-based environments made specifically as backdrops for pictures are becoming attractions themselves. These digital installations can be changed easily and frequently—the draw is how photogenic the location is.
- In suburban areas, farms are turning into attractions. These eco-parks host visitors from urban areas who just want to enjoy the countryside. The government is trying to promote the development of suburban towns, and eco-parks provide an opportunity for developers to do so.
- Adventure parks, with ziplines and other active experiences, are popular because they offer the opportunity to do something guests haven’t before and post their picture doing it on social media.
- Previously, commercial themed attraction development had been related to residential for real estate development, but regulation has passed that separates commercial from residential development. This has made financing difficult, but it is currently returning.