The Asian leisure industry developing.

The Asian market and Asia Attractions Expo Hong Kong 2018

New attractions, theme parks, water parks, resorts and casinos have sprung up and continue to grow from Singapore to China across to South Korea in the last decade as property developers and entertainment companies aim to draw Asia’s rapidly growing middle classes.

These projects represent the next big growth area for skilled and experienced designers, creators and suppliers as the European, Middle Eastern and North American market has become saturated and opportunities to design big new attractions and resorts have dried up.

Shanghai Disney opened its gates in June 2016

Asia has easily kicked into a higher gear. China alone with Shanghai Disney, Hello Kitty Park and Monkey Kingdom are just 3 parks that draw a total of 23 million visitors a year and this is just in China. Away from China, there is Universal Studios in Singapore, part of a multi-billion resort that also includes a water park, dolphin experience and a state of the art aquarium as part of the development. Then the first Legoland in Asia opened in Malaysia in 2013 with others in South Korea and Japan to follow. Six Flags are making a huge presence in the region with parks that are destined across the region with the first of its park opening in China in 2019. These represent just a small percentage of what is happening in the region. The Asia-Pacific may see an 8.8 percent annual rise in visitor spending to theme parks, from US$12.9 billion in 2014 to US$19.7 billion in 2019, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

Hong Kong by night

This year’s Asian Attractions Expo in Hong Kong, the largest conference and trade show for Asia’s multibillion-dollar attractions industry, opened amid the release of mixed results for the sector globally. The amusement-park industry now has a billion visitors a year worldwide, 450 million of them in Asia alone, the largest market in the world with growth of 5.5%. in the year 2017. On an unprecedented scale, this years’ expo gathers over 350 exhibitors in rides, virtual reality experiences, motion simulators, water attractions, photo/video providers and skill games, theming and food and beverage as well as in excess of 6,000 buyers from nearly 70 countries. The interest levels for many if not all exhibitors have been excellent and next years Expo in Shanghai promises to bring in even bigger numbers.

CK is global head of Business Development for TAPEMYDAY and posts a monthly column on the company website about all things related to the Attractions Imaging Industry and business development.