A Chinese entertainment company wants to spend almost $400 million building a theme park to compete in the already crowded Gold Coast market.
The Songcheng Performing Arts Development Company operates six theme parks in China and has announced it wants to enter the Australia tourism market.
The chief executive of Gold Coast Tourism, Martin Winter, said talks had been held with company executives.
“This particular company is very serious,” he said.
“They’re a very big player in the market — they’ve got a great track record of delivering fabulous theme parks.”
The Gold Coast already has a number of major theme parks, including Sea World, Movie World and Dreamworld.
Dreamworld remains closed four weeks after a ride malfunction killed four people.
Never a bad time to talk entertainment: Tate
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he would welcome a new player. “I don’t think it’s ever a bad time to start talking about enhancing our tourism infrastructure,” he said.
“This theme park will be something different — it is one of those ones that is focusing on culture.”
In a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Songcheng said the theme park would have an “Australian Indigenous Cultural Village”, a “wild Australia” component and a “mysterious oriental area”.
Mr Winter said the theme park would have to attract more than just Chinese visitors.
“It definitely will cater to Chinese tourists, but there’s no business model that can be run on that alone, so it will be equally attractive to Australians,” he said. The Gold Coast attracts 340,000 Chinese visitors a year and there are four Chinese airlines that fly direct to south-east Queensland.
Next year a fifth airline, Air China, will begin direct flights from Beijing to Brisbane.
Councillor Tate said he would meet with executives from Songcheng next month and a development application could be completed by midway through next year.
Online Source: ABC.net.au.