The Russian Dolls Playground theme park, set in Manzhouli, North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is seeing a huge growth in visitor numbers.
Tourism is growing in the frontier town that sits on the borders between China, Russia and Mongolia. Statistics indicate that the total of tourists last year hit 30 million with revenue topping 20.8 billion yuan ($3.06 billion).
The city is famed for its collection of life size and larger Matryoshka dolls (also known as Russian dolls or Russian Nesting dolls). Manzhouli has a unique collection of dolls, including one that features three faces – Chinese, Russian and Mongolian – representing peace and prosperity brought by cross-border tourism.
The massive doll is 30 metres tall and houses a restaurant and a performance hall. Some of the other huge dolls on display depict Chinese zodiac signs, and even worldwide celebrities.
The attractions also showcases Russian culture, food and music.
In a report from China Daily, Liu Jing, General Manager of the theme park says that she is serving more than 20,000 tourists a day. Throughout July, she will deal with about 600,000 customers. “This is just the beginning,” says Liu. “I am sure the numbers will double or even triple in the coming years.”
Wang Zejun, Company Chairman of the Manzhouli Port International Travel Service (that owns the park) first came to Manzhouli in 1992. During the following 25 years, he established a business empire around hotels, travel and international trade. “We seized the golden chance of tourism development and made use of Manzhouli’s unique geographical advantages,” says Wang.
Last year, the group’s operating income topped 111 million yuan, showing an increase of 58 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Net profit was 34 million yuan during the same period, an increase of 60 per cent.
Plans for the future are bold. “We plan to invest another 300 million yuan to build an ice and snow park,” says Wang. “And an international camping site in the next few years.”