Enjoyable times ahead

Theme parks such as Legoland Malaysia Resort and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town have actually helped promote Johor to families. In the past, Johor used to be a passing location into Singapore, kept in mind Bhoonee.

The Lost World of Tambun in Perak has actually helped us develop one- and two-night itineraries in the state, whereas in the previous Ipoh used to be a stopover lunch destination for trips heading to Penang, he included. With Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) opening in July, it will offer us another major tourist attraction to sell in Perak.

Developed to a tune of RM450 million (US$ 111.6 million), MAPS is the very first animation theme park in Asia with attractions and characters totally based upon cartoon animation themes, according to CEO Darren McLean.

Calvin Ho, senior general supervisor of Sunway Theme Parks, welcomes the complimentary impact the upcoming MAPS will bring to business at Sunway s Lost World of Tambun and Sunway Lagoon.

He described: More marketing dollars invested in drawing in tourists to the nation can only benefit the economy. Tourists might wish to go to more than one amusement park during their whole stay.

Also, John Chan, business development director, Kris International Traveltours, stated the recent development of theme parks linked to worldwide brand names such as Nickelodeon (see Tried & Tested on page 16), Legoland and Hello Kitty Town will grow a brand-new sector of travelers who do not see shopping as a main draw.


Building on family-friendly credibility.

Paige Lee Pei Qi.

While the cosmopolitan Singapore is renowned to be a buyer’s paradise, its appeal as an amusement park destination soared when Universal Studios Singapore (USS) in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) debuted in 2010.

According to Michael Chong, supervisor of international business at Star Holiday Mart, travelers who enjoy amusement park destinations in Singapore are mostly households from South-east Asia and China.

Judy Lum, group vice president for sales and marketing with Singapore’s Tour East Group, share comparable observations: Most visitors are groups of young people travelling together or multi-generation families from India, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and regional nations.

Singapore’s close proximity allows them to have vacations at theme parks of global requirements as the majority of Asian working class do not have long yearly holidays to travel to the United States or Europe to take pleasure in such amusement park, she elaborated.

Apart from USS, the eight-hectare Marine Life Park in RWS has drawn in great deals of travelers too.

Leong Yue Weng, general supervisor of interactive indoor edutainment Centre KidZania Singapore, which simply opened at Palawan Beach on Sentosa Island last month, stated amusement park operators are lured by Singapore’s placing as a family-friendly location.

Competition is just at bay. Said Star Holiday Mart’s Chong: Singapore faces regional and destination competitors for amusement park an example is the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland which will compete with Singapore for theme park tourists.

To sustain Singapore’s appeal as a theme park destination, Lum advised theme parks to constantly transform and revitalize their destinations and keep costs affordable for surrounding countries as the Singapore dollar is simply too strong versus the local currencies.


Regular updates fan domestic love affair.

Julian Ryall.

The Japanese love affair with amusement park began with the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. Since then, theme parks have grown to become a vital part of the domestic tourism market, with three parks Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Universal Studios Japan worldwide s leading 5 tourist attractions by participation.

Japan witnessed a boom in amusement park in the 1980s, Motohisa Tachikawa, spokesperson for JTB, explained, however not all the smaller ones made it through the financial downturn of the following years.

Parks have to open something brand-new every year or, at a lot of, every two years because that is exactly what keeps visitors returning frequently, he said. Repeat visitors are critically important and if someone feel that a person visit sufficed, they won’t wish to return.

Universal Studios Japan has actually experienced just that rise in visitor numbers. The opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014 caused a 28 per cent increase in admissions over the list below year. To satisfy the demand, work has recently begun on a new high-rise hotel.

Huis Ten Bosch, the Dutch amusement park in Kyushu, will introduce the new Kingdom of Robots tourist attraction in 2012, a move that will definitely bring in new visitors, said Kotaro Takada, director of the corporate planning department.

Last year, around 200,000 of our guests were from abroad and we’re seeing foreign visitor numbers increasing by as much as 10 per cent a year, stated Chanmum Om, who oversees the parks foreign promo efforts. Secret to that has been the establishment of offices in South Korea and Taiwan to introduce visitors.

Foreign visitors have likewise assisted to enhance overall numbers to Japan’s amusement park, Johta Takahashi, USJ’s representative said, with the sector in general benefitting from a boost in LCCs flying into Japan, relaxation on visa policies and the relative weakness of the yen in current months.

At the very same time, more Japanese have been checking out after being dissuaded from travelling abroad due to recent terrorist occurrences, primarily in European cities.


Amusement park boom.

Caroline Boey.

International amusement park operators continue to make a beeline for China as the nation ends up being a crucial target audience, with Italian high-end automobile manufacturer Ferrari the most recent to announce plans to develop a branded theme park in China.

For now, all eyes are on the June 16 opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is 3 times the size of the 28ha Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL).

This will this set a brand-new standard for amusement park and include a brand-new global dimension to China’s offerings, according to Joy Liao, sales director, Inbound Center, Century Holiday International Travel Group.

Kris Van Goethem, managing director, Asian Trails China, said it would be sensible for the domestic market to move focus to the Shanghai Disney Resort.

It is the first park of such high global requirement to open here. It is also more expensive for the Chinese to travel (to Hong Kong for HKDL) compared to domestic air travels to Shanghai.

A Legoland park is presently being integrated in Shanghai by Merlin Entertainments, which currently has 5 attractions in China, with another two (Madame Tussauds and Sea Life aquarium in Chongqing) due to open soon.

Opening in 2019 will be the Universal Studios in Beijing the 3rd in Asia after Osaka and Singapore and at 120ha, it is reportedly the most significant in the world, according to a China National Tourism Administration report.

The homegrown theme park scene, meanwhile, is controlled by Chimelong Group and Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) Group.

Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort is the group’s first world-class thorough resort real estate several of China’s top amusement park such as Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong International Circus, Chimelong Water Park and Chimelong Safari Park.

OCT has established a network of theme parks across China over the previous twenty years, including Shenzhen’s Window of the World (which showcases reproductions of world-famous icons) and China’s first amusement park chain under the Happy Valley brand.

Violet Wang, destination supervisor at Pacific World, believed that China’s huge domestic market will assure company for the various theme parks in southern China and the Yangtze River Delta.

Hong Kong.

Buckling up for rollercoaster ride.

Prudence Lui.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) and Ocean Park Hong Kong saw visitor numbers drop last year, however gamers are downplaying speculations that the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort might further moisten business.

HKDL s sales director for Hong Kong and International, Martin Leung, stated: We see the opening of brand-new theme parks in the area as advantageous because their existence will assist produce top-of-mind awareness of amusement park and the Disney brand name amongst visitors.

Chief executive of Ocean Park Hong Kong, Tom Mehrmann, thinks that more style parks in China will cater to the increasing number of the Chinese middle class while reinforcing the area’s appeal for long haul tourists.

An emergency of attractions will really (improve the appeal) of traveler destinations, which is precisely what has actually been taking place in southern China that consists of Hong Kong and Macau, he said.

Still, it appears the market senses competition from neighboring locations and has actually looked for to add new attractions to keep visitor experience fresh.

For instance, HKDL’s Star Wars-themed unique occasions will be introduced this summer, providing rides such as Hyperspace Mountain.

Ocean Park recently released totally free Wi-Fi service and has in the pipeline, two brand-new hotels Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel and The Fullerton Hotel @ Ocean Park; arranged for conclusion by 2017 and 2020 respectively and the 64,381 m2 Ocean Park Water World (2H2018).

W Travel, handling director, Wing Wong, feels that the theme park market is currently mature. There is not much room for huge growth provided (Hong Kong s) scarcity of land. I think there won’t be any remarkable development of visitors but brand-new facilities might assist to drive more visitors.


Gambling establishments still primary tourist attraction.

Vigilance Lui.

The theme park market is unlikely to exist of get off the ground in Macau, as the small territory with a minuscule population of simply 650,000 is already dominated by the video gaming market and its incorporated resorts, said observers.

John Ap, visiting professor at the Institute for Tourism Studies, said: The existing lull in the casino company would not supply the inspiration or likely business environment to necessitate advancement of any massive amusement park that would be economically practical.

What possible exists for Macau are family entertainment Centre’s (FECs). Studio City is one of the very first casinos to introduce this idea with its present Batman Dark Ride, Golden Reel Ferris wheel and Warner Bros Fun Zone. It is anticipated other gambling establishments will do the same.

FECs stay secondary, not drawcard tourist attractions, and this is what Macau will be primarily limited to, he added.

Things may change with the debut of Macau s very first amusement park, Planet J. Armed with Magic Scroll a mobile phone packed with apps and linked to a master computer individual can embrace fantasy personae to act out a series of personalized difficulties to repel sinister forces from the legendary Stone Kingdom.

On the other hand, CITS Macau’s worldwide department supervisor Cooper Zhang thinks Macau might have emulated Hong Kong in the theme park field. Macau needs (amusement park) to draw more youth and household visitors. Since land is limited here, the scale can’t as compare to Hong Kong however in regards to imagination, it’s possible to concentrate on instructional and cultural element given the existing commercial tourism offers, he stated.

Gray Line Tours, handling director, Andy Wu, concurred: In the past, all interest went to the fast-growing pc gaming industry and other business sectors were disregarded. Now, the speed of the video gaming market has actually slowed and the government stressed on diversity of tourist offerings so I think more chances for amusement park advancement in future.

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