China: Property developer Wanda opens $3bn theme park to rival Disney
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China: Property developer Wanda opens $3bn theme park to rival Disney

THE Wanda Group, China’s largest private property developer, has opened their first large-scale entertainment complex on Saturday, looking to overtake rival Disney as the world’s largest tourism operator.

Billionaire Wang Jianlin, chairman of the group, unveiled their US$3 billion “Wanda City” in the southeastern provincial capital of Nanchang, hailing the centre as a new experience that mixes culture and tourism.

The complex sprawls over two square kilometers and features a US$800 million theme park, an indoor shopping mall with cinemas, restaurants, hotels, and the world’s largest ocean park.

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Wang has openly spoken about taking on Disney’s $5.5 billion Shanghai theme park, which opens next month, and said it will be no match for Wanda City’s other projects which are set to open across the country.

During an interview on China Central Television on May 22, he said: “[Disney’s] one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves.”

The company will also be looking to outdo Disney with their ticket prices, which will cost patrons about half as much as a ticket to Shanghai Disneyland.

China’s tourism industry is currently worth a whopping US$610 billion, and the government estimates it will double by 2020.

Additional reporting by Associated Press