China’s largest marine park operator, Haichang Ocean Parks Holdings, has plans to build overseas amusement parks along China’s new silk road.
Chief executive of Haichang, Wang Xuguang, told the South China Morning Post that his company was in discussion with mainland state-owned infrastructure builders. The company wishes to develop three to four ocean parks along China’s new silk road trade initiative. The new parks will be built in countries like Bangladesh and Madagascar.
Wang said: “As the state-owned infrastructure builders construct ports and roads along the ‘One Belt, One Road’, they also need our help to add amusement facilities to go with the megaprojects. This model fits us perfectly since we already had plans to tap the emerging markets.”
we set our eyes on markets like India, central Asia and Africa
The new Silk Road initiative was introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It aims to connect overland corridors and sea routes to bolster China’s trade ties with 65 countries.
“Markets like Japan, Europe and America are not our targets,” Wang said. “Instead, we set our eyes on markets like India, central Asia and Africa.”
He explained that Haichang would not necessarily invest in the construction of the ocean parks along the Belt and Road routes. He said they could embark on an “asset-light” strategy by just designing and operating the resorts for state-backed companies.
Haichang has their sights set high. They aim to become the world’s largest marine theme park operator.
Haichang Ocean Park currently operates six ocean theme parks, one adventure theme park, and one water world in China. In addition there are two major projects under construction in Shanghai and Sanya.
Haichang posted net profits of 57.6 million yuan ( US$8.83 million) for this year’s first half. That is up 38.9 per cent from a year ago.
Image courtesy of Haichang Ocean Park.