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China projected to become world's largest themed entertainment market

By Ren Xiaojin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-08 15:51
AECOM's booth at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China is expected to surpass the United States to become the world's largest themed entertainment market based on attendance volume by 2020, said a report by world's leading architecture and infrastructure design and consultancy company AECOM.

Released on Thursday, the industrial report on Chinese themed park market said that the market is in a period of fast-paced development, which has seen a yearly 20 percent growth in aggregate attendance in 2017. According to its research, as the development of such parks accelerated, the total attendance currently has reached 190 million, with a yearly compound growth rate of 13 percent in the past decade from 2008 to 2017.

Chris Yoshii, vice-president of AECOM in Asia, said there were over 70 themed parks in the pipeline, which will largely boost the market by 2020, pushing the total attendance to 230 million.

"While the total attendance at China's theme parks grew to 190 million visits in 2017, a 20 percent year-over-year growth, it is still a markedly lower per-capita attendance compared with other developed economies. These findings demonstrate a significant opportunity for future growth in the Chinese market," Yoshii added.

Yoshii said he does not see China facing a market saturation in the near future despite of the rapid growth of the market, as compared to mature market like the US, China still has a large potential for further expansion.

"In recent years there has been a substantial investment by Chinese theme park owners and operators, but our research shows that attendance levels are still considerably lower than other developed markets such as the United States," he said.

The report also anticipated a continuing expansion of the themed park industry in China as the mid-earning class of the country increases and transportation infrastructure improves.

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