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Wanda City vs Shanghai Disney race gets real

Reporter: Martina Fuchs 丨 CCTV.com

06-16-2016 12:34 BJT

It's not only Disney which sees the huge potential in the Chinese market for theme parks. The Wanda Group recently launched its Wanda City in Nanchang, the capital of southeastern China's Jiangxi province, to compete against Disney's Shanghai Resort. Analysts expect the already-chippy rivalry between entertainment parks to escalate even more due to rising consumer spending in China. Our reporter Martina Fuchs has the story.
Some companies open theme parks, others build full-scale entertainment cities. China's Wanda Group belongs to the second category.

The property giant and the world's biggest cinema chain operator just last month launched its first city-sized Wanda cultural tourism project in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province in southeastern China.

"Wanda City" spans over 2 square kilometres, with a culture and tourism investment topping 22 billion yuan or 3.1 billion US dollars.

Wanda City is like a city inside a city - it's an amusement park that features resort hotels, 14 movie screens, 50 restaurants, and a nightclub for adults.

In peak times, it can accommodate up to 30,000 tourists per day with projected annual visitors of more than 10 million.

Last month, comments by Wanda Group's Chairman Wang Jianlin grabbed international attention, when he said rival Walt Disney is facing too high costs, and that the U.S. company should not have stepped on his home turf.

"At the very least we are going to do our very best to fully occupy the cultural tourism segement in the Chinese market. Foreign brands have the advantage of being foreign brands. But local brands might have even more advantages," Wang said.

Chinese investment in tourism will double to around 2 trillion yuan by 2020, the country's tourism body forecast in May. Tourism investment is expected to hit 1.25 trillion yuan this year alone. Investment in the sector jumped 42 percent to top 1 trillion yuan in 2015.

China is pinning its hopes on areas such as travel to encourage consumer spending and propel growth amid economic weakness at home.

While this is all good news for those planning to visit China's massive new theme parks, how much all of this building frenzy is actually harming the environment, is a completely different question.

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