AECOM, a global infrastructure integrated services company, said in its latest observation of China's theme park market after the epidemic that the market landscape is being reconstructed, with 39 new theme parks added in the past three years mainly concentrated in new first-tier cities. With more and more theme parks moving into the inner city, the theme park's "city attributes" are becoming stronger and stronger.
Theme parks from "Suburbs" to "Inside the City"
For a long time, the theme park, which we now know well, although the concept of "city" is often mentioned, is still mostly related to the city. On the one hand, their location will not be in the "definition of life" under the urban scope, but relatively sparsely populated urban new areas, tourist islands and other potential land, so that large-scale theme parks from nothing, the trend by the strength of the cultural tourism industry, to drive the development of this area. On the other hand, theme parks rely on the flow of passengers to live, therefore, will never leave the city and urban residents too far away, often 1-2 hours away from the city center suburbs, with the radiation of urban life, not alone.
Today's theme parks, however, seem to want to be a little closer to the city. AECOM's observation mentions that the first-tier and new first-tier cities are the first choice of international IP china, second- and third-tier cities become the hot land for local brand investment, from the scale and product point of view, the theme park's target audience positioning is more segmented and accurate, and does not simply pursue "big and complete".
Theme park", is into the "definition of life" under the city - to a certain extent, has become inevitable. First of all, it is the rise of urban tourism. In the past two years, rising tourist destinations, often in the form of "cities" rather than "attractions", such as the red cities of Chengdu, Xi'an, Changsha, etc., travelers are not just trying to card an attraction, but want to eat, drink and play, to understand the local culture. For example, now the New Year's Day holiday, "house hotel" has become the mainstream way of vacation, travelers in time in the city, but also can find a unique way to play, the focus of local travel, has become a lot of literary and travel practitioners need to consider factors.
Second, the urban population within the "definition of life" has become larger. According to IKEA's internal statistics, by 2030, 60% of the world's population will be living in cities, twice as many as today. Ikea will also change to better serve the "living in small spaces" "no time" and "wallet-tight" urban crowds. For these urban crowds, an hour or two away, and three or four hundred tickets, make play a burden. And if it's a theme park in the city, a shorter distance, and a cheaper price, it's better for the whole family. Therefore, the theme park to serve people living in the city, you have to "go into the city."
Most importantly, theme parks are not without competition, and a series of small theme parks, represented by indoor zoos, are rising strongly. According to relevant media reports, the domestic "indoor zoo" has now as many as 30, moving hundreds of millions of dollars in financing, even JD.com, the actual home also began to test the layout of water. It can be seen that the theme park in the city is also beginning to show amazing potential. Sticking to the "big and complete" of the suburbs, and not forgetting the trend towards the "small and refined" evolution of the city centre, seems to be becoming a new way for theme parks.
The theme park's "Into the City" four dilemmas
In fact, the domestic theme park has not been around the suburbs, if you trace its history, you will find that it and the city, there has been a "honeymoon period", that is, in the 1980s and 1990s, along with the reform and opening up, many foreign life, consumption methods also entered the domestic, the cultural needs of the Chinese people increased, amusement parks have become a pastime of the time, many cities have ushered in a wave of "garden-building tide", such as Shanghai Jinjiang Park, Guangzhou Oriental Park, such as a large number of belonging to the 85, 90 after the "childhood memories." However, these "initial stage" theme park, lack of real competitiveness, once again "into the city" theme park, not only to avoid the once "paradise fever" problem, but also to face a series of new difficulties under the new era.
Land restrictions play space
Unlike suburban theme parks, which have enough scale, the biggest dilemma facing urban theme parks is "space". Under urban development, every piece of land will be used to the best of its ability, can independently own land has been lucky, many indoor theme parks, is in shopping malls, complexes and other carriers on the difficult growth. That is why urban theme parks need to be more careful about their choice of projects, and some signature projects may not appear in cities, thus greatly reducing the attractiveness of theme parks.
Reasonable application of IP
Many travelers are willing to travel long distances to a suburban theme park because they already have a deep understanding of the theme park's IP itself, such as Disney's Fairy Tales World, Universal Studios' Harry Potter Wizarding World, and so on, a trip with a "Hajj" nature.
However, Disney, Universal Studios is a minority, many theme parks in the large-scale project operation, has not yet realized the rational application of IP, and to the smaller urban theme park, more valuable space range, is not the simple stacking of IP elements can be achieved, but to IP and experience project depth combination, IP is not attached to the project on the icing on the cake, but to bring immersion essentials. And the sense of immersion, never on the suburbs and the city.
competitors who have long been groping
Suburban theme park giants compete for traffic, and city-themed tourism is not pure blue sea. In addition to the controversy of the indoor zoo mentioned above, looking at the world, Denmark LEGO House, Japan's Sanrio Rainbow Park, South Korea's ZOOOLUNGZOOLUNG and other indoor parks, whether it is landscape play culture, indoor equipment or product connotation, IP building, etc., have matured. And in China, the indoor park-based urban theme park has gradually formed around the real estate developer development projects, the introduction of foreign IP park brand projects, domestic players original park and other major indoor park forms. In front of these pioneers, the latecomers of the city theme park have to find their own advantage.
Beware of the "paradise fever" tragedy
In the 1980s and 1990s, after a swarm of "paradise fever" trend, leaving behind a large number of poorly run or abandoned urban theme parks, the theme park at that time, the problem lies in imitation too much, supporting facilities are not perfect, in addition to attracting the city residents who wanted to "see the world" at that time, simply can not cultivate their own loyal customer groups. In today's environment, city dwellers no longer need to "see the world", they need a truly mature, cultural, immersive theme park - this is the same, whether you go to the suburbs or the city.
What the city theme park of the future looks like
The future of the city theme park is not only indoors, but also can become a special landscape of the city, even to understand the theme park brand of a "prelude", the future of the city theme park, will certainly have more imagination.
"In each other's tables" of cities and suburbs
As mentioned in the first paragraph of our article, the theme park between the city and the suburbs is not a "one-for-one" relationship, but can be "in each other's table", the former can bring more passenger flow to the latter. The city's theme park, can be regarded as the theme park brand "model room", everything is in accordance with the hardcover standard, and strive to maximize the display of the park culture IP and amusement experience, so that those who are "small and refined" appetite of urban residents and travelers, willingly set out to the more suburban theme park, to feel a more complete experience.
Continuous urban experimentation in local culture
Whether it is the city or the suburban theme park, can not escape the excavation of the local culture, if the suburban theme park in the local culture, is broadly for the capture and utilization of culture, then the urban theme park in the local culture, is the city as the "mother", and the theme park is the city's "business card", is a continuous urban experiment. In this experiment, the theme park to understand, not only the contemporary urban residents of the cultural induction, but also in different cities for the theme park "practical" attention.
For example, whether you can meet the ease and safety of parent-child travel, honey, couples travel can get enough experience and so on... These need theme parks to really go close to the city, the city's location and crowd research, in order to show enough to fit the city's paradise appearance, but also with the city residents to achieve emotional links and maintenance, become a real "city neighbor."
Immerse yourself in experiences and dream-making
Now living in the city of young people, often willing to spend nearly 200 yuan a person's ticket price, to a "secret room escape", if we turn on the secret room lights, look at those forced scenes, rough arrangement, can not help but feel the money is too good to earn, but really let young people willing to pay, is the lamp after the immersion.
At a time when immersive experiences are becoming so hot, urban theme parks must begin to focus on creating immersive styles. Disney, Universal Studios can become young people look forward to opening the theme park, no more than because of its immersion in the creation, so that as if into the woven dream, the more the display of authentic, the most vivid, the more people do not want to wake up. And this is bound to become an important direction of the city theme park.
IP is important but not "all-in-one"
Now we mention the theme park, must talk about IP, it seems that there is no IP, theme park will have no meaning, IP and "theme" the word hooked up. There is no denying the potential advantages of IP in shaping themes, enhancing experiences and promoting secondary consumption, but there are no shortage of cases where IP is waterless.
The future of urban theme park, IP content can only be regarded as the first step, as AECOM believes that the introduction of IP is not the theme park once and for all, but need to clarify the purpose and expectations of the park to introduce IP, and then choose the appropriate IP and scientific and reasonable use, in order to play the maximum value of IP. In addition to IP considerations, polishing quality products requires a return to the essence of themed entertainment - that is, whether the product itself allows visitors to immerse themselves in a safe, hygienic and comfortable environment, away from the daily routine, and enjoy a wonderful journey with family and friends.
From theme parks to amusement park complex
The success of a theme park is not only in the construction of the park itself, the park and surrounding facilities are connected with the master plan is its core and foundation. In the suburban theme park, theme park as radiation, driving regional development is almost a normal operation, and when the theme park into the city, it is not possible to exist only as an isolated theme park, but to use the power of surrounding business, the formation of theme park complex, in order to attract more people.
Take Changsha Super Wen and Friends as an example, many media regard it as a modern shopping mall "theme amusement park", in the 20,000 square area, Changsha 80's nostalgia by the food and beverage steaming out. The company's management team rated itself as "we are a cultural company, and our vision is to be Disney in the Chinese food industry." "It's hard to define it as a "theme park" or a "complex", but it's really become a cultural landmark that drives attention throughout the neighborhood.
In addition, "open operation", that is, free admission to the park, amusement projects single-pay or theme area payment by the industry attention, for the city theme park into a theme park complex provides an opportunity. In AECOM-tracked projects, there are currently about 30 theme parks, or about 20 per cent of the total, in this way across the country. At present, the more reasonable implementation of open-ended theme parks, mainly located in the new first- or second-tier cities in large urban recreation complex, the surrounding population is relatively dense, these projects often need large traffic to feed commercial or other projects.
How is urban tourism affected?
As industry insiders say, to do "small and very small and refined", with distinctive theme park. Away from the traditional real estate thinking, no longer scale-oriented urban theme park, can also bring unusual literary inspiration, for urban tourism to bring 4 "new weather."
The development of tourism in tourist cities is often driven by landmarks, and these landmarks, often regardless of the ancient and modern - Changsha's Yuelu Academy and Wenheyou, Hangzhou's West Lake and Tianmu ... It is these unique landmarks that have become the intention of travellers to reach a city.
In the past, Disney, Universal Studios and other theme parks, although they can build the local tourism city, the development of urban economy to help, but its impact only lies in the characteristics of the suburban areas, the "definition of life" under the city, but little impact. Therefore, the emergence of urban theme parks, which belong to the city center of urban landmarks and city business cards, is also based on the real needs of more urban travelers, bringing more traffic and tourism vitality to the city.
According to AECOM observation, China is currently in the process of accelerating urbanization and a new round of urban renewal, with the repositioning of urban functions and industrial upgrading, successful theme park development on the city's image and visibility of the promotion of more attention than ever before, pure theme park monolith development projects reduced, theme parks leading multi-industry integrated resorts, theme park industry chain extension and development projects began to increase, theme parks have more possible ways to land. After the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, excellent theme park projects will participate in the inner cycle of urban economic development and become the necessary new "infrastructure" to build a better life in the city.
Urban theme park for the development of the city and help, to Kunming colorful Yunnan Happy World theme park for example, for a long time, as the capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, often because of the characteristics slightly inferior to Lijiang, Dali and other cities, and forced to become a transit station for travel, colorful Yunnan Happy World belongs to the "colorful Yunnan Ancient City" is Kunming's first large-scale tourism complex project, for Kunming tourist destination city to build a new brick and mortar.
According to AECOM Watch, about 80 parks are scheduled to open by 2021-2025. Second- and third-tier cities in metropolitan areas such as the Yangtze River Delta/Dawan District are poised to take off, and the next five years will be the next batch of investment outlets for themed entertainment. And read the theme park in the past six months to prepare for the news, including Tangshan, Zhangzhou, Xin'an and other third- and fourth-tier cities.
Putting aside the first-line and new first-tier cities' own objective traffic, for those who yearn to have a "home front" theme park sinking city residents, the city theme park, invisibly has a lot of potential visitors, and more importantly, for the sinking city, a city theme park with "city landmarks" "city business card" image exists, is undoubtedly for the city to bring more tourists.
Ancient seeds, the germs of life, are embedded in the interior, but need to be sown in the soil of the new era. The same is true of the city's local culture, and those old cultures are so good that they are out of date after all, and only by combining the old culture with the new era can they bring out vitality.
Urban theme park for the city in the local culture and contemporary urban residents living and consumption habits of the deep excavation, the culture presented, neither too old-fashioned, nor too suspended, can not resonate. Theme park for the excavation of urban culture, and finally in the form of a new culture, feeding the city, so that the city's cultural presentation, become more diverse.
Theme park has never left the city, whether from the original birth in the city, to attract real estate to the suburbs of large-scale construction, to now with "small and refined" ferocious killing back to the city, "urban spirit", always buried in the blood of the theme park, and lead the next journey of the city's cultural brigade ...
Source: WeChat Public "Space Secrets" (MESPACE007), author: Xi Xin, original title: "Theme Park ferocious "Into the City"! 》。