China could surpass US in global theme parks market by 2020

While China’s theme parks are seeing lower attendance than other developed countries’, global infrastructure firm AECOM projects the Asian country would surpass the US in the global market by 2020.

“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 US,” said Chris Yoshii, vice president, economics and global director of leisure + culture, Asia, AECOM.

Robust theme park pipeline for China

“While the total attendance at China’s theme parks grew to 190 million visits in 2017, a 20 per cent 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.”

According to AECOM’s China Theme Park Pipeline Report, the future pipeline for theme parks in China appears robust, with least 70 new theme parks under construction or in a detailed planning stage.

“We anticipate that by year 2020, China will have surpassed the US in terms of total theme park attendance,” said Yoshii.

At a time when China’s theme park industry is flourishing, and owners and operators are assessing trends and potential paths forward, he added: “We found that parks with a clear and distinctive theme, such as those tied to international intellectual property brands, stand a higher chance of business success than independent parks.

“Overall, however, trends for China’s theme park industry are strong and offer a myriad opportunities for both themed and non-themed owners and operators.”

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