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Third Wanda City to open in June

By Hu Yuanyuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-22 14:08

Wanda Group, one of China's largest business conglomerates, plans to open its third Wanda City in June, in its latest effort to venture into the leisure industry.

Harbin Wanda City, the largest recreation project in the country's Northeastern region, will include Russian-style theme park facilities, a movie theater and the world's largest indoor skiing and snow entertainment park spanning 1.5 square kilometers.

The 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) development is Wanda's latest commitment to the country's booming leisure industry which China National Tourism Administration expect to grow to 10 trillion yuan in the years to come. When opening its first Wanda city in Nanchang in May, 2016, chairman Wang Jianlin revealed his ambitious plan to develop as many as 20 Wanda Cities nationwide by 2020. Other destinations earmarked for Wanda cities include Chengdu, Wuxi, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

According to industry consultancy Aecom, a total of 59 new theme parks will open in China by 2020, serving an estimated 220 million park-goers and rivaling the United States in terms of scale.

Behind the wave of theme parks is China's growing middle class, which is fueling demand for leisure activities. There are about 300 parks in operation already in China, according to Macquarie Group.

Wanda group is reshuffling its business from real estate to become a conglomerate based on commerce, culture, internet and finance.

Income from Wanda's services businesses accounted for 55 percent of the company's total last year, exceeding its real estate sector for the first time, according to the company's annual report.

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