The arts and tourism industry has been hit hard by the outbreak, but theme parks seem to be an alternative. From drone shows to themed fireworks, from immersive shows to iron and gold flowers, this Spring Festival holiday season is a time of endless cool activities that keep many theme parks in high spirits. Theme park boom needs continuous innovation and creativity, in the long run, theme parks only to create their own exclusive IP, in order to continue to harvest traffic, to win the hearts of tourists.
The market's big profitable giants are running into the game
With the epidemic prevention and control into the normal, outbound travel to domestic long-term travel, surrounding travel, the cultural travel industry ushered in new challenges and new opportunities. How to create a new pattern of domestic cultural travel industry has become a common problem facing the whole industry.
"70 per cent of theme parks in China are loss-making and only 10 per cent are profitable." This was widely recognized by the Chinese tourism industry in the early years, and this judgment is somewhat outdated. Before the outbreak, three-quarters of China's theme parks were profitable or break even, according to the data. Since 2020, theme parks have become one of the earliest revivals in the domestic travel industry, with its high popularity, driving the recovery and development of the entire industry.
Compared with the traditional natural cultural scenic spots, theme parks are definitely a "later generation". In 1955, Los Angeles Disneyland was built, the world's first full sense of theme park was born. From 1970 to 1990, theme parks with the United States as the origin, gradually rise around the world, the United States Disney Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Disney Animal Kingdom and Japan's Tokyo Disney have been built, and thus opened the way to global expansion.
Daqing Children's Park tickets for the year
China's theme parks began after the reform and opening up. The Heilongjiang Daqing Children's Park, built in 1981, and the Yangtze River Park in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, completed in 1983, pioneered the domestic amusement park. In 1983, because of the TV series "Dream of the Red Mansions" and the need to build a "big view park", opened the domestic artificial landscape. In November 1989, Shenzhen built the country's first miniature scenic spot, "Beautiful China", which is generally considered to be the earliest theme park in modern China.
Since 2017, investment in the domestic theme park industry has accelerated, with many new projects landing and entering a period of rapid development. In Shandong alone, in recent years, there have been many theme parks such as Tai'an Sun Tribe, Tai'an Fangt, Qihequan City Oule Fort, Jinan Fangte Oriental God Painting, Jinan Rongcheng Travel City and so on.
There are now nearly 3,000 theme parks in China, including about 400 on a large scale. According to the 2020 China Theme Park Competitiveness Evaluation Report, the total area of more than 600 acres or a total investment of more than 1.5 billion yuan, and has been operating for 1 year as many as 92 large and very large theme parks in China.
Not only that, but China has become the world's most visited theme park market. According to the Global Theme Parks and Museums Report 2019: Visitors to the World's Major Attractions, three of the world's top 10 theme park groups are from China, with the highest annual visitor growth rates, demonstrating the dynamism of China's theme park market.
Today, domestic theme parks form a number of giants. Mainly to real estate supporting park joint development of overseas Chinese city, second-tier chasing first-tier cities, science and technology to hold the Huaqiang Fangte, layout of Guangdong, the world-focused Changlong Group, to marine life as the representative of the Haichang Group.
In addition, Rongcheng, Evergrande, Shimao, Guiyuan, Jia Zhaoye, Xinhua Union and other enterprises, have also entered the field of investment in tourist attractions, the establishment of the Cultural Andi Business Unit, accelerate the theme park layout. Foreign giants are also actively coming to China to seize the market, shanghai Disney Resort opened in 2016, Beijing Universal Resort will operate in 2021, the future theme park game and killing will be more intense.
High investment losses large secondary consumption is not ideal
In just a few decades, Chinese theme parks have evolved from urban playgrounds, which were originally dominated by science fiction, motorized amusement and animal watching, to theme parks that combine entertainment functions, accommodation shopping and real estate development, to consumer spaces such as Disneyland and Blossom Bay, where visitors can stay.
However, rapid iteration also means that a little attention will be abandoned by the times. The development of theme parks is cyclical, and it is necessary to adjust the activities and business strategies according to the changing needs of the market.
Fuhua Amusement Park is a well-established theme park in Shandong Province, founded in 1994, and many of its theme parks in the same period have long been silent. In order to maintain vitality and competitiveness, Fuhua Amusement Park timely adjusted its positioning as an "outdoor children's theme park", almost every year the introduction of a number of emerging amusement projects, such as disco turntables, super sledgehammers, 5D cinemas, space shuttles, Skynet home bumps, magic bikes and so on. These projects enrich the play content, attract a large number of repeat visitors, to ensure the normal operation of the theme park.
However, equipment updates can not be separated from real money. A two-tier horse in the domestic price is about 4 million yuan, and Disney's two-tier horse purchase price as high as 9 million yuan, Disney Pirates of the Caribbean project total investment is more than 1 billion yuan, the strength of the enterprise is obviously difficult to bear.
Even without the introduction of new equipment, the aging of existing equipment is also a problem. In Changzhou Dinosaur Park, for example, from 2014 to 2017, its total depreciation and amortization amounted to more than 80 million yuan, which put greater pressure on the operation. Old facilities will not only have security risks, but also directly in the market competition.
Because of this, "front waves" by "back waves" on the beach examples are not uncommon. In 2020, Changshu Starfish Island Park in Jiangsu Province will close. The 128-acre theme park, which is planned to invest 500 million yuan, opened in 2011 and was abandoned in just a few years, becoming a "ruin" in the mouths of citizens. Suzhou Paradise Happy World, less than 50 kilometers from Starfish Island Park, has also been closed due to old equipment and poor management. Wuhan Wanda Film Park, which has spent 3.8 billion yuan, was closed just 19 months after it opened and will be converted into an indoor ski resort.
From the operational point of view, the secondary consumption downturn is an unavoidable hard injury. At present, domestic theme park ticket revenue is relatively high, at about 70%, secondary consumption accounted for 30% or less, but foreign well-known theme parks more than the opposite.
Secondary consumption includes food and beverage consumption, creative goods, service consumption, experience and so on. As can be seen from Disney's earnings report, ticket revenue is not Disneyland's main source of revenue, and sales of restaurants and related Disney products are the source of revenue. The secret to Disney's revenue is the consumption of drinks, snacks and souvenirs by visitors.
Domestic theme parks are clearly aware of the problem. In the past two years, Guangzhou Rongcheng Wencheng, Overseas Chinese City Shunde Happy Coast PLUS, Sanya Haichang Dream Ocean Night City and other projects, have tried to break the traditional mode of operation, the introduction of "open operation and ticket- split operation" model.
They have changed the course of a pass to the world, through the division of "performance package tickets" "play package tickets" "equipment tickets" and other ticketing policies, so that visitors have the flexibility to combine the items of interest. Visitors can also purchase individual or combination tickets, such as those who like rides can purchase "play tickets" separately, and those who like performing shows can purchase "play packages" separately.
At the same time, the construction of smart scenic spots based on information technology, Internet, Internet of Things and big data has been gradually promoted in theme parks, and various high-tech and means such as intelligent tour guide, network marketing, online payment, mobile payment, mobile smart tour guide, two-dimensional code electronic ticket are widely used. These measures have played a significant role in reducing labor costs and operating expenses.
IP-themed marketing enhances in-house competitiveness
For young consumers, instrument play can no longer meet the needs of entertainment, passive sensory stimulation is no longer attracting attention, and bundled IP, theme prominent, participatory and more experiantive to win hearts.
In essence, IP is an emotional symbol, a generation, a group of common memory. Theme park to introduce consumer favorite IP, can inject fresh blood into the project, from the emotional, content level to arouse the resonance of young audiences, and further stimulate the potential of cultural tourism consumption.
In 2014, Universal Studios Osaka, Japan, quickly hit the market with the introduction of Harry Potter IP, with total sales up 44% year-on-year and operating profit up 61% from the previous year, both of which were the highest since they opened. The success of universal studios in Osaka's "Harry Potter" theme area speaks volumes about the formation of giants.
Over the years, Universal Studios has become the industry's "traffic harvester" with its proven operating model of theme parks and IP, iterating IP through seasonal events to keep theme parks alive. Or take Universal Studios Osaka as an example, its large-scale animation game theme of seasonal activities "Cool Japan" has been successfully held several times, with "Detective Conan" "Beautiful Girl Warrior" "Monster Hunter" "Final Fantasy" and many other well-known Japanese animation, game IP cooperation, by the global fans crazy pursuit.
In terms of IP creation, the domestic theme park giants have also tasted the sweetness. Huaqiang Fangt has been insisting on the development of original IP, has created a number of popular animation, including the "Bear Innate" series is well received by the audience. "Bear Out" cartoon network click-through rate of 120 billion times, the cumulative box office of the four major films reached 1.35 billion, becoming China's first animation brand. In recent years, Huaqiang Fangte actively implanted the IP elements of "Bear Out" into the Fangt series theme park, launched the restoration of bear indested life scenes in the "Bear Out of the Valley", bear out of the theme project "Bear out of the theater", bear out of the stage play, etc., to achieve high-quality IP and theme park win-win development.
Not only Huaqiang Fangte, Haichang Ocean Park, Songcheng Performing Arts and other leading theme park groups in China, have begun to pay attention to IP building and secondary consumption mining. According to Haichang Ocean Park's 2017 financial results, the company invested 110 IP-themed products in 2017, developed 220 new food and beverage products, and established a number of themed restaurants, commercial properties, etc., as a new profit growth point.
Of course, with IP, you can't do it once and for all. Novel IP is like a network hot search, if there is no continuous extension of the push and time precipitation, once the fresh energy passed, it is likely to be forgotten in the back of the mind. Therefore, when creating its own IP, the park needs to consider the ip's endability and extension force, the formation of sub-cultural effects, to maintain the topic and attraction.
After high-speed development, the future of domestic theme parks should pay more attention to "quality" competition, but not only the "quantity" of the scale. Only with wisdom and patience to create quality, enhance the theme park cultural connotation and quality, in order to achieve long-term development.
* Source: Qilu Evening News, Author: Yu Huaqiu, original title: Theme Park: Wen Brigade "Traffic Harvester" Re-Force.