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Universal resort set to boost tourism in Beijing
Last Updated: 2021-09-01 07:11 | China Daily
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The Universal Beijing Resort is poised for a strong launch on Sept 20, during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, after the announcement of its opening date generated great online interest.

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Sept 21, the day after the opening of the theme park.

Within just one hour of the resort announcing its official opening date on Monday afternoon, web traffic related to it on Chinese travel booking platform Ctrip rose by 830 percent compared with the same period last week. Searches for nearby hotels increased by 320 percent over the same period.

On ly.com, another Chinese online travel agency, hits about the resort also soared rapidly. The platform has received many inquiries about ticket prices, but the resort has yet to release these details.

"This year, short tours have become increasingly popular. Theme parks have always been a hot choice for this kind of two-to-three day tours," said Zhang Guodong, director of the communication department of ly.com.

Fang Zeqian, an analyst at Ctrip, said the opening of the Universal Beijing Resort is great news for the tourist market in northern China, an area with relatively few theme parks.

"The tourist market was affected by COVID-19. Therefore, this new theme park will definitely contribute to the tourism industry in Beijing and neighboring areas," she said.

Located in Beijing's eastern district of Tongzhou, the venue comprises the Universal Studios theme park, Universal CityWalk Beijing and two hotels, along with 37 recreational facilities, themed attractions and dozens of food and beverage outlets.

Tom Mehrmann, president and general manager of Beijing International Resort Co Theme Park and Resort Management Branch, which runs the resort, said it aims to build the resort into a new cultural landmark of Beijing.

"When people talk about traveling in Beijing, they think of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. We hope that our resort will become another reason for people to come to the city in the future," he said.

Jason Ramsburg, vice-president and executive producer of entertainment of Universal Beijing Resort, who previously worked at the Universal Orlando Resort in the United States, said many movie characters will make their debut at the Universal Beijing Resort.

"Among our over 600 actors and actresses, 400 are from China and the rest are from various countries from the world," he added.

The park features seven themed "lands": Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness; Transformers: Metrobase; Minion Land; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter; Jurassic World Isla Nublar; Water-World; and Hollywood.

There are many "first" and China-related elements in the theme park.

For instance, the Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, inspired by DreamWorks Animation's film franchise, is Universal's first "land" with such a theme.

Li Chuhan, a 4-year-old girl who visited the park during its trial operations, said the Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness was her favorite.

"I love all the animal characters there. They're cute," she said. "I want to go there again."

The venue is owned by Beijing International Resort Co, a joint venture between Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co and Universal Parks and Resorts.

Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co is a subsidiary of Beijing Tourism Group, one of the leading players in China's tourism and hospitality sector.

Song Yu, chairman of the group, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily that the resort will not only benefit Beijing's cultural and tourism industry, but will also bring China's theme park industry to a higher level.

"The second and third phases of the resort are being planned," he added.

Beijing's cultural and tourism authorities plan to strengthen infrastructure construction and related facilities nearby, including building more hotels to meet the expected demand.

(Editor:Wang Su)

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Universal resort set to boost tourism in Beijing
Source:China Daily | 2021-09-01 07:11
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