SHANGHAI — China is slated to become world’s largest theme park market by 2020, when the number of tourists is expected to exceed 230 million, according to a fresh report by US engineering firm AECOM.
The number of tourists to Chinese theme parks have seen an average annual growth of 13 percent in the past decade, and reached 190 million in 2017. The number is expected to keep the double digit growth in the following years, according to the report.
The report attributes the rapid growth to Chinese consumers’ rising income that sparks greater demands on leisure activities, as well as more convenient public transportation systems.
Despite the large number of total attendance, the report also finds that China has a markedly lower per-capita attendance compared with developed economics.
“These findings demonstrate a significant opportunity for future growth in the Chinese market,” said Chris Yoshii, vice-president for Asia and global director for Leisure and Culture with AECOM.
Geologically, most of the theme parks are in economically developed areas such as South China and East China, with the latter accounting for more than 30 percent of the total number, and more parks are being built in Central and Southwest China, the report shows.
“We are seeing a trend that these theme parks are more in Central and South China, the projects are shifting to inland from coastal areas, as a result of local economic development,” said Yoshii.