Shanghai has announced plans to invest
400 billion yuan 40 billion yuan into its tourism industry during the next five-year plan. [Correction: we originally reported 400 billion, the correct figure is 40 billion.] While Shanghai Disneyland and Happy Valley’s “second phase” construction will suck up most of the money, there are also 11 other projects in the works, including ecological parks and nature resorts, as well as the Fengxian ‘Oriental Venice’ project.
The city plans to attract 240 million domestic tourists and 10 million foreign tourists every year, with a projected annual revenue of 540 billion yuan.
While Shanghai has yet to release project-specific investment numbers for Disneyland, it’ll probably take a majority of the funding. They expect anywhere from 7 to 10 million visitors to the park annually, half of those coming from outside Shanghai.
Whatever “phase two” means for Happy Valley will also include big resort complexes in Sheshan, and will likely use up another huge chunk. The money that’s left over will go towards quite a large number of projects by the looks of it, such as wetlands parks, industrial parks, shopping centers, nature resorts, and hopefully our long-awaited Suzhou Creek cruises.
Particularly exciting is the Fengxian ‘Oriental Venice’ Project. Not only is Fengxian apparently on its way to becoming “China’s largest yachting industry center”, they are also building some kind of massive beachfront water sports and recreation bonanza. Get a load of the lineup:
The eastern part of the seashore will become a mega marine theme park featuring a children’s zone, yacht clubs, seaside resorts, coastal villas, an art park and a shopping mall. It will feature an indoor beach, which will be constructed next year. The 1.8-billion-yuan project will cover around 20 hectares of seawater area.
It will house what is expected to be Asia’s largest indoor sea-themed entertainment area, the world’s largest water screen, a surfing zone, an exhibition hall of man-made stalactite art and an ocean exploration park.
If that’s not enough, they also throw kite fetes, beach galas, and an annual rape flower festival! (Yes, it really is a flower.) Like Disneyland, the Fengxian park plans to open within the next four or five years.
Has anybody actually been to Fengxian? The article claims “clear seawater with high visibility, pure air and vast stretches of farmland.” With 4.5 million annual visitors already, projected to rise above 6 million, we’ll believe it when we see it.
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