The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM jointly released the ranking of theme park groups worldwide in 2019 on July 16. Shenzhen, China-based Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) was ranked among the top three with an annual attendance of 53.97 million, continuing its leadership in Asia. The top two were international giants Walt Disney and Merlin Entertainments Group. Universal Parks and Resorts took fourth place.
Beijing Happy Valley, an amusement park built and operated by OCT, was ranked among the top 25 single theme parks worldwide with an attendance of 5.16 million, while several other of their theme parks were ranked among the top 25 theme and water parks in the Asia Pacific region.
In terms of managing their theme parks, OCT has been keeping an eye on market demand while leveraging next-generation digital technology in tandem with a series of new advanced technologies to launch innovative products and services. Since 2019, OCT embraced innovation in its effort to build new tourism attractions as well as engage in a massive technological transformation. Shenzhen Happy Valley and Shenzhen Window of the World, to cite two examples, seized the development opportunities brought about by 5G and constantly enhanced the visitor experience at theme parks through technological innovation. OCT implemented virtual queuing systems and QR codes for fast entry at several of its newest tourism attractions, in addition to applying intelligence to the construction of new theme parks and further optimizing the visitor experience. Nanjing Happy Valley, set to open this year, will be built as a smart pilot new tourism attraction and become the first Happy Valley park to launch a member management system that integrates consumption, services and marketing scenarios.
OCT has also optimized its product linkage and combination, enhanced crossover collaboration, built a new model for the next stage of industry development, explored innovative development models such as culture-based theme parks, technology-based theme parks and online game-themed parks, as well as brought famous IP, e-sports events and other unique elements into theme parks. In 2019, Happy Valley partnered with NetEase to jointly host large-scale e-sports IP events including Identity V Global, Identity V Championship and Netease Esports X Tournaments (NEXT), with the goal of creating a virtuous effect whereby offline viewing, online live broadcasting and themed activities can complement each other, expanding the diversification in the range of activities and in the visitor experience, while creating theme blocks and themed activities that deeply customize game IPs.
OCT has leveraged its advantages in the cultural tourism industry in a move to accelerate the creation of a new type of theme park portfolio. While continuously enhancing the quality of products at existing theme parks, OCT has been gradually launching new products in terms of agriculture, technology and zoo parks across China, which not only enhances and further diversifies the product lineup and customer experience for visitors, but also effectively enriches and improves OCT’s theme park portfolio.
Since the resumption of work and production following the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, OCT has taken the lead in reopening all of its locations. Gaining an insight into new market demand following the social changes brought about by COVID-19, OCT has launched innovative cultural and tourism offerings, and kicked off the 2020 OCT Cultural and Tourism Festival taking place in 60 cities across China, helping boost confidence in the next stage of industry development, while stimulating domestic demand and accelerating the recovery of China’s economy.