by Liu Jinwang
n 2006 Liu Jingwang, now chairman of the Chinese Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (CAAPA), voiced concerns about the “overheating” of the domestic industry. Two years on, he tells Park World the situation is about to reach boiling point.
A lot of amusement parks are being built in the big cities in China, but also playgrounds are being replaced in second tier cities. The construction of new parks is concentrated in three clusters: The Pearl Delta, Yangtze Delta and Bohai area – and the competition in those areas is chaos!
At a lot of these parks, good research had been overlooked and so a lot of fixing work needs to be done. There’s also a lot of blind investment from people who are not experienced in the industry. How many of the parks will survive the construction boom?
Real estate tourism is also an issue: Developers putting money into parks but with the purpose of using the parks to raise the value of the land. The focus is not on the profits of the parks and some parks see hardly any visitors! It’s a waste of resources, but of course the developers do not worry because they have already reaped the benefits. It’s normal practice now in China.
All these new parks need rides and attractions and so the manufacturing industry is booming. There are a lot of opportunities for our own factories and also a lot of opportunities for international manufacturers. Some foreign companies have set up joint ventures, and this a good alternative to setting up their own factories.
The market is huge, and it had made companies very hungry and thirsty. All manufacturers seem to be at full capacity; production cannot meet the demands of the market. Generally this is a positive situation, but problems arise when people pay more attention to the market than to quality or service. Also the market cannot last forever at this rate so the manufacturers must prepare themselves for after the peak period, to ensure their factories are sustainable. Those who have not paid attention to quality will be the ones that loose out. It’s like summer, and after the summer you have the fall… Companies must be strategic and look overseas to ensure their survival.
I have been discussing this situation to my colleagues now for several years, but the difference now is that we are close to explosion; the market is almost at its peak. CAAPA is now working with the government to make them aware of this. We do not have long to solve the problem and find answers.
With thanks to Ai Yongmei for translation