SHANGHAI SURPRISE

At the turn of the 19th century Napoleon   Bonaparte said of China: “It is a sleeping dragon, but when it awakes let the world beware. ” That has come true in many industries in the past decade and this vast country has become the factory floor of the world. The parks and amusement industry is no different. The IAAPA  Asian Expo in Shanghai illustrated that while US and European based companies dominated the show floor, Chinese companies stole the show and undoubtedly their displays pulled the visitors in greater numbers. The use of IAAPA’s name as the leading trade organization for the international amusement parks community certainly paid off. There have been a number of amusement and parks trade show ventures in mainland China in recent years and their status was becoming blurred.

The overall conclusion has to be that China and south-east Asia have become major target areas for globally-based amusement and rides companies. There were 120 participants at the show, testimony to the fact that the region has the second largest theme park  market generating US $1.3bn in annual revenues, according to a report by the international accounting company Price Water house Coopers. It estimated growth as 7.1 per cent per annum and it is expected to generate US $1.8-2bn by 2010. New parks, including a possible Disneyland in Shanghai, would fuel this. Liu Jing Wang, vice secretary general of the China Association of Amusement Attractions warned that possibly the Gaming industry poker news is expanding too fast. “The problem is many cities are in a rush to develop the industry, dumping huge amounts of money into building theme parks which can result in big losses if they don’t generate visitor traffic. ”

      A good example of the giant parks being s built is Guangzhou Chime-Long  Group, which has built Guangzhou Long Paradise, a massive 7000,000sq.m. park near Hong Kong with 57 assorted rides, a safari park, circus and hotel. The part has been open for three months   and attracts over 10,000 visitors on weekends, according to Tony Size, the group general manager. Entrance to the park only, including all rides is RMB 145 or about US $18. The safari park is an extra at RMB120 or US $15.
      The IAAPA Asia pre-registered attendance was about 1,500 of which 1,000 were overseas and 500 local, according to the organizers. There were major delegations from Indonesia with 50 visitors and 60 people from India. Others visitors came from the middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe. A  few visitors came from the US and the UK, staying only a short time at the show- and then disappearing to visit the tourist delights of Shanghai A number of the foreign visitors seemed disappointed at the lack of non-amusement park games, viz.coin-oppoment. The three major coin machine companies showing were Golden Dragon, Universal and Wah Lap. They showed their video ppoker games which were often made under license from Sega, Manco and other well-know Japanese and Western companies. They added their own novelties, such as basketball games and redemption. Another coin-opponent supplier known to many in the West was Guange Yang and Macrown showed its slot machine cabinet – it was the only exhibitor in this sector. It did well, as its cabinets were popular with the Russian and eastern European visitors.

veryone was greatly impressed by the major strides made by the Chinese amusement park industry in design and quality. An outstanding example of this was Chuangqui Amusement with its battery-operated cars and boats. Another was Zhengzhou Dongfanghong with its inflatable, Mecpower Electronics with its characters including a huge dragon, kaiqui Play Equipment with its indoor and outdoor play equipment, amusement One poker entertainment Supply with carousels and other rides. One Indian visitor, R P Tyagi of Water Kingdom Asia’s largest water park, commented: “Prices are already low in India, where there is a local industry especially in water park equipment, but they are even lower in China and the quality is excellent. ” He added that there were over 40 water parks already up and running in India.
      One US-based redemption games maker complained that he had been a game very similar to one he sells for less than $900, but he would be out of business if he sold in the US for less than $2,800. This may be something which most Westerners are already aware of, but it serves to emphasize that China should not be underestimated and its aggressive sales policy may impact western makers sooner than they think. The dragon is awake.

SHOW INFO
SHOW      :   IAAPA Asian Expo 2006
LOCATION   :   Shanghai, china
DATE :   July 12-14, 2006
ORGANISERS     :
Diane Vidoni, IAAPA, 1448 Duke Street,
Alexandria, Virginia 223-4, US.
Tel : +1 703 836 4800
Fax: +1 703 836 4801
Email :   dvidoni@iaapa.org
Website: www.iaapaAsianexpo.com

MAIN EXHIBITORS :
Antonio Zamperla, Dotto, Entropy, Fabnri, Forrec, Guang Yang Amusment, Huss, Intamin, Jack Rouse, Landmark, Mack, Macrown, Mauerer Sohne, Memo Park, Moser Rides, Pax Design, Preston   and Barbieri, Proslide, Qubica, Sacoa, Sally Corporation, Sela Cars, Universal Space, Van Egdom, Vekoma, Westech, White water Wet.
THE VEDICT:
      It was predominantly a theme parks show, as expected and some visitors were openly disappointed that there were no more  coin-opponent suppliers, but with a name like IAAPA Asia, what could they expect?  The quality of Chinese product is no longer to be joked about and it might be reasonably argued that the long term future of the amusement industry generally lies with China. This is acknowledged by some companies that are rushing to set up manufacturing there under license to export back to their home countries. IAAPA Asia next year will be in Bangkok., By Freddie milner.