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59 theme parks to be built in China by 2020

Staff writer |
China is slated to build 59 theme parks and five water parks by 2020 with total investments of US$23.8 billion, expected to attract 166.3 million people, a scale far exceeding the United States and Japan, Beijing Business Today reports, citing global engineering firm AECOM.

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The market is relatively immature, however, compared to the US and Japan, and most of the nation's theme park developers focus more on the value of the enclosed land for the parks.

According to the firm's statistics the U.S. has fewer than 40 theme parks, Japan has more than 30, while China has 40 times the amount of the two countries combined. Most of the construction focuses on the model of "parks plus properties," aiming partially to develop the property market.

By 2025, the nation's theme parks could receive 320 million tourists, surpassing the U.S., according to statistics from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

According to an unnamed executive of a property and hotel management company in Hainan, the 1990s was the peak of China's theme park development, with more than 2,500 theme parks being completed from 1990-1994, but over the past 10 years, 80% of the theme parks closed down, resulting in economic losses of 300 billion yuan (US$48 billion). Currently, only 10% of the surviving theme parks are profitable, 20% are breaking even, while 70% of them are losing money.

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