UK's biggest entertainment group reveals expansion plan in China

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-22 21:59:02|Editor: xuxin
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LONDON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Merlin Entertainments, one of the world's leading visitor attraction operators, has unveiled several new brands in Beijing and Shanghai, as part of its continued expansion in the Chinese market.

The British-based company, the owner of the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and Legoland among others, announced Thursday that it recently extended its Chinese portfolio with opening of Asia's first Dungeon and Little BIG City attractions, and the inaugural Peppa Pig World of Play. So far it has 11 attractions in China.

Shanghai was chosen as the first location for Merlin's new Peppa Pig World of Play, a unique indoor attraction. The bright and colourful space features ten play areas, each inspired by instantly recognisable locations from the Peppa Pig TV series. It will be open all year round and extends Merlin's participation in the pre-school market.

The Peppa Pig concept is set to be rolled out in additional locations, with launches planned for Beijing as well as Dallas, Texas next year, according to the company.

Little BIG City Beijing is the second attraction of its kind to be developed, following the successful launch of Little BIG City Berlin last year. The interactive handcrafted miniature attraction takes visitors on a journey through a thousand years of Beijing's history in a day, depicting the city's iconic buildings and streets in startling detail using cutting-edge technology.

The company also announced plans to open a Legoland Discovery Centre in Beijing in 2019, alongside its existing Madame Tussauds attraction.

John Jakobsen, Merlin's Chief New Openings Officer, said: "China is an important market for Merlin" as Chinese consumers are seeking a more interactive, immersive and quality entertainment experience.

"It provides great opportunities for us to develop existing attraction concepts, as well as introduce new brands," he added.

Earlier this year, Merlin Entertainments has penned a deal with China's Alipay and WeChat Pay to enable Chinese tourists to make payments when visiting London attractions.

As Europe's number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 120 attractions in 25 countries.