A report by Japan Times suggests that Huis Ten Bosch Co. will accept an investment from Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group – to help the theme park operator attract more Chinese visitors.
Hideo Sawada, head of Huis Ten Bosch, said the Chinese investment company is expected to acquire a 25 percent stake. It may be by the end of this month.
Sawada said during a news conference that he will aim to list Huis Ten Bosch on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in three years.
Major shareholders of Huis Ten Bosch will sell some of their shares to the Chinese firm, it is expected. These include Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Saibu Gas Co.
In the twelve months ended September, initial reports show visitor increase of 5% from the year earlier.
Huis Ten Bosch is themed on an idealised vision of Holland in the Middle Ages. The park is named after one of the palaces belonging to the Dutch royal family. It features life-size models of some of the country’s most historic buildings as well as canals, windmills and fields of tulips.
It is also famously the home of the Henn na Hotel which is staffed almost entirely by robots.
A recent addition to the park is a virtual reality coaster that simulates a 300m drop, speeds of 270kmh, and a course length of 3000m. Riders climb aboard a coaster-style cart and don head-mounted VR display and headphones. The VR experience takes 2 minutes 30 seconds. Motion seats and the movements of the cart enhance the experience.
The park attracts about 3 million visitors a year and generates in the region of $89.5 million annually.