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PGAV Destinations Wins Significant Projects Integral to Tourism Growth in China


Leading American firm to design two landmark projects

PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of cultural and entertainment destinations, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded two landmark projects in China: the planning and design of Zhuhai Ocean World and the expansion of the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xian, China.

Both projects are part of a current tourism boom in China. According to the China National Tourism Administration approximately US $185 billion was recorded in tourism income in 2009, reflecting a growth of 9% over 2008. Additionally, Chinese domestic tourism income in 2009 was US $146 billion, reflecting a 15% increase from the previous year.

“We are honored to participate in the exciting tourism boom occurring now in China, ” says Jim Moorkamp, Principal and Co-leader of PGAV Destinations. “These projects will be important attractions to draw both Chinese nationals and international tourists.”

PGAV Destinations is planning and designing the 50-hectare Hengqin Island Ocean World. This project is being developed by The Chimelong Group, which operates theme parks, animal safari parks, waterparks, and hotels in Guangzhou’s Panyu district. This project in Southern China will become the biggest ocean park in Asia when all phases are completed.

Ocean World is part of Chimelong’s Hengqin Island Development. The development is a family based, international quality, tourist destination that is designed to complement Macau, which draws over 22 million visitors a year. It includes Ocean World, an animal safari, other entertainment venues, destination retail and hotels.

Hengqin Island is just off the Chinese Mainland. It is part of the coastal city of Zhuhai and just across a strait from Macau. It is part of a larger economic development plan in the southern Guangdong region that is stimulated by the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Construction recently began on this 30-mile long bridge, which will be the longest oversea bridge in the world, connecting Zhuhai with the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The island is the largest among the 146 islands of Zhuhai, being roughly three times the size of Macau.

PGAV Destinations is also providing architectural, interpretive, retail, and food service design for the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xian, China. This landmark destination is being expanded with state-of-the-art amenities, to include a film-based attraction on the history of the site, interpretive exhibits, an educational museum store, and specialized food service. The project is the result of an innovative public/private partnership between PGAV’s American client and the Chinese government.

“The museum project signals a new chapter in PGAV’s experience in bringing state-of-the-art interpretation and visitor services to internationally significant heritage landmarks, ” says Mike Konzen, Principal and Co-leader of PGAV Destinations. “It builds on our experience at the Giza Pyramids, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Independence National Historical Park, and other significant sites.”

The Museum Complex houses the famous Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China near the Mausouleum of the First Qin Emperor. The figures vary in height according to their role, the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.

Estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army, there were over 8, 000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pit.

About PGAV Destinations 

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal strategic partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning.

PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, Niagara Parks Commission, The National Aviary, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Niagara Falls, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks.

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