News that Universal Studios may be bringing their Hollywood-based theme park to Beijing firms up predictions that Asia is poised to become the theme park capital of the world.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the Asian outpost of the Universal Studios franchise will be a $2-billion (RM6.54-billion) project that will transform 51 acres of land in a suburb of Beijing.
The theme park is estimated to open in 2018.
While Universal Studios has yet to respond to the rumours, the Hollywood Reporter points out that municipal plans call for a monorail to be built in Beijing and for its terminus to end at the site of the purported Universal Studios, in the suburb of Tongzhou.
Universal Parks and Resorts is also advertising for Mandarin Chinese-speaking staff, while demolition of the area is ongoing.
The Beijing location would mark the third Asian location of Universal Studios, after Singapore and Osaka.
The development of massive theme parks has been fast and furious in Asia over the last few years.
Some of the more highly anticipated openings include the Shanghai Disney Resort – set to become the largest theme park development in China when it opens in 2015 – and a Twentieth Century Fox Theme Park near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in 2016.
Developers in South Korea also announced plans to open a robot theme park in two years.
A report published last year predicted that theme park attendance in Asia is poised to overtake North American attendance, thanks to integrated resorts that mix casinos, retail and cultural facilities in a single space.
According to the 2012 Theme Index, attendance at the top 20 Asian theme parks increased by nearly 6% in 2012 over 2011 to receive a record 108.7 million visits. – AFP/Relaxnews, March 6, 2014.