China’s first Legoland to open in Sichuan in Oct 2023
Published: Oct 22, 2021 12:46 AM
LEGOLAND Shenzhen Resort breaks ground on Thursday. Photo: courtesy of Merlin Entertainments

LEGOLAND Shenzhen Resort breaks ground on Thursday. Photo: courtesy of Merlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainment announced on Thursday that the first Legoland Resort in China will open in October 2023 in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, with a total investment of 5.5 billion yuan ($0.86 billion). It’s a further sign of multinational entertainment corporations ramping up investment in China.

The huge demand from Chinese consumers has attracted foreign entertainment firms to move into the domestic market, given the country's rising consumption power and robust economic recovery from the pandemic, analysts said.

The three-child policy has also contributed to the broader consumption market in China.

Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainment, said at a press conference that the company plans to invest in building more resorts in Shenzhen and Shanghai, and maybe other cities in the future, adding that the company has an optimistic attitude toward the Chinese market.

On August 26, the company announced plans to build the world's largest Legoland Resort in South China's Shenzhen Province, which is expected to be completed in 2024. This shows that the firm intends to compete with Shanghai Disney and the Universal Studios theme park in Beijing as Chinese consumers' leisure spending increases.

On October 20, Universal Beijing celebrated its "full month" of operation, which has boosted the development of surrounding industries. Data from Qunar, an online travel agency platform, shows that in the past month, Beijing hotel reservations have surged by more than 50 percent year-on-year. 

Therefore, the Shenzhen Legoland resort will also boost local economic development, as well as bringing more entertainment options for Chinese tourists during the holidays.

Moreover, big-name theme parks like Legoland will provide options for the Chinese travel market in terms of IP product creation and operation, which conforms to the development of the country’s dual circulation model, experts said.