LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?

LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?

After Universal Studios, Beijing welcomes the news of another international brand theme park settling in the city.
A few days ago, in the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission website released "Beijing 2022 key projects plan notice" shows that Legoland is listed as "cultural tourism industry" new projects, construction address for Fangshan District Changyang Town. Including Legoland, theme hotels, commercial streets, parking lots, etc., the total construction scale of about 304,000 square meters.
This is also Sichuan, Shenzhen, Shanghai, after the British Merlin Entertainment Group in China layout of the fourth Legoland.

The supplement to the theme park market

LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?
△ The fourth Legoland in China will be located in Beijing.
LEGOLAND, together with Disney and Universal Studios, is known as the "world's top three theme park" brands. The latter two landed in China and attracted a lot of attention as soon as the park opened, soaring to the "top of the stream".
In contrast, the layout of LEGOLAND in China did not seize the advantage of time. In the Disneyland into China 15 years later, Legoland in the country only after the news of the successive settlements. The only mega world theme park in the north was Universal Studios in Beijing before the news of
Legoland settling in. 2021, Universal Studios Beijing theme park opened in Tongzhou in September. Data show that its opening received an average of 15,000 visitors a day, with weekend visitor traffic reaching about 30,000.
Zhang Mingyang, a senior researcher at Tongzhou Research Institute, told ChinaReport that Universal Studios Beijing has brought a huge number of visitors and considerable revenue to Beijing, which has boosted tourism in the surrounding areas and even the whole north. In Zhang Mingyang's view, LEGOLAND's layout in Beijing reflects to some extent the huge space in Beijing and the north in the theme park market.
From the public data, Beijing Universal Studios has a planned construction area of 4 square kilometers. In contrast, the area of Legoland is much smaller.
Unlike Disneyland, Beijing Universal Studios many film and television works IP to build the project, Legoland is mainly to blocks as the carrier to carry entertainment projects. China Theme Park Research Institute President Lin Huanjie told reporters that Legoland is mainly aimed at the younger age group. "This part of the crowd belongs to the passive consumer group, and most of them are both no economic strength, play time is also limited by the youth group." In his opinion, the breadth of the Legoland audience is not as wide as Universal Studios and Disneyland, interactivity, story connotation is also weaker than the latter two.
"But that doesn't mean it doesn't have a market in China." Lin Huanjie pointed out to reporters that the field of professional children's theme parks in China is currently a blank, the arrival of Legoland can fill this gap. For Beijing, the theme park for young people also has a certain complementary significance to the theme entertainment industry in Beijing.

Not a relationship of vicious competition

LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?△ In 2021, Universal Studios Beijing opened.

From the announcement, the first Legoland in China will open in Meishan, Sichuan in 2023. Shenzhen and Shanghai follow suit.
The industry predicts that if all four Legoland parks, including Beijing, open successfully, they will occupy three first-tier cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and Chengdu, which radiates 40 million people in the southwest region.
Previously LEGOLAND had successful landing cases in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, but compared to Universal Studios, Disneyland, LEGOLAND in China and even Asia are not very well known. What worries Lin Huanjie is how LEGOLAND, which has never had a deep plow in China before, will adapt to the Chinese tourists and market?
"LEGOLAND, as an international brand, has no small difficulty in being flexible." How to implant Chinese elements in its original block technology is the key to their integration into the Chinese market, Lin Huanjie told reporters that the core of Legoland is its block carrier, once over-transformed will discard its original appeal and brand influence.
In Zhang Mingyang's observation, if Legoland wants to develop well in China, it must adapt to the changing needs of Chinese visitors, find and strengthen differentiation from other theme parks, and enhance the loyalty and repurchase rate of sticky users. He suggested that consideration could be given to adding some localized and age-appropriate products to attract more visitors.
"It's not about diverting visitors away from Universal Studios." Zhang Mingyang said to reporters. As the two known international theme parks in the northern market, there are concerns that after the opening of LEGOLAND, visitors to Universal Studios Beijing will be diverted and the two will either form a vicious competitive relationship.
LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?

△ The world's first Legoland opened in 1968

And in Zhang Mingyang's view, Universal Studios entertainment projects are usually more exciting and have a big IP sense of entry, is a universal theme park for all ages, more comprehensive, entertainment is also stronger; Legoland is more focused on the appreciation of those wonderful scenery and hands-on happiness, is the professional theme park, product More focused.
He further pointed out that from the market point of view, Legoland users have a stronger stickiness and do not need to poach visitors from competitors' parks. At the same time, LEGOLAND can also form a linkage with Beijing Universal Studios, the two form a complementary relationship, there is no traditional sense of vicious competition, Universal Studios opened to drive the Happy Valley heat and business status is a good example.
From the opening of Shenzhen Happy Valley Phase I in 1998 to now, Happy Valley has been operating in China for more than 20 years. Lin Huanjie to Beijing, for example, he believes that Legoland in Beijing's competitors are not just Universal Studios Beijing, but also Happy Valley. As an all-you-can-eat park, Happy Valley is more cost-effective and, as a local brand, has more autonomy to attract visitors by setting up different themed activities, while LEGOLAND's flexibility is a weak point.

is the "golden age", but also will be a big wave of sand

a number of cultural tourism industry practitioners have found that despite the impact of the domestic tourism industry in the last two years under the new crown pneumonia epidemic suffered a heavy blow, but the theme park industry is still maintaining a relatively fast growth trend.
Incomplete statistics show that nearly 20 new theme parks were added to the country during the epidemic, and the number of theme parks forming a scale in the country exceeded 340. Experts interviewed generally believe that China's theme parks are in the "golden age".
Previously, the 2021 China Theme Park Competitiveness Evaluation Report showed that by the end of 2019, there were 339 theme parks in China, of which 25% were losing money, 22% were flat and 53% were profitable (operating).
Zhang Mingyang, who is engaged in the research of cultural tourism industry, told China Report that the rapid growth of theme parks relies on the continuous improvement of consumer market demand. At present, the pattern of theme parks in first-tier cities in China is roughly determined, and the theme park market in second-, third- and fourth-tier cities cities is still expanding.
LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?

△ Happy Valley has been operating in China for more than 20 years.

Zhang Mingyang pointed out that, compared with the booming development of quantity, domestic theme parks with competitive projects are still relatively scarce, and quality projects are scarce. There are still many shortcomings in facility innovation, operational thinking, IP attractiveness, and risk resistance in theme parks within the country, and there is still a lot of room for improvement in the consumer population and consumer structure.

Lin Huanjie also confessed to reporters that the overall level of development of China's theme parks is uneven, and with the arrival of foreign capital, the continued expansion of China's theme park market is also facing challenges.

He pointed out that the presence of international brands will, to a certain extent, increase competition in China's theme park market, and will also promote the industry's "survival of the fittest" on this basis. The next five years, Lin Huanjie judgment, a number of poor location, design is not in place, no classic project of small and medium-sized theme parks will be eliminated. "International brands will land strongly, and local brands will be eliminated at an accelerated pace." Lin Huanjie said, to break out among international brands and form their own unique competitive advantages, for local park brands, there is still a long way to go in the future.

LEGOLAND is coming to Beijing, can it beat Universal Studios?

Written by Qiu Hui, China Report