Dancers perform at the Wanda Cultural Tourism City in Harbin. (Photo/Courtesy of Wanda)
Wanda Group, owned by the Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, unveiled its sixth cultural tourism project complex, in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, over the weekend.
The complex, named the Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City, covers an area of 80 hectares and a floor area of 900,000 square meters.
With an investment of 20 billion yuan (.95 billion), the complex covers tourism, culture, sports, commercial space and hotels, including the world's largest indoor ski resort. This is the world's largest indoor snow park, open throughout all four seasons.
"Wanda aims to make this city's operation be first class in the world, and make Harbin a world-class tourist destination," Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group, said at the opening ceremony.
The complex follows two opened in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, and Hefei in East China's Anhui Province. The next two will be opened at Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, and Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, in 2018. By 2020, the group aims to develop 15 Wanda Cities, comprising 51 different types of theme parks.
The Hefei complex drew more than 1 million travelers during the seven-day national holidays in October last year, and nearly 1 million travelers visited the Nanchang complex, according to the company's website.
The group said that tourism industry income reached 17.43 billion yuan in 2016, a growth of 37.1 percent year-on-year.
Wanda's tourism projects are always compared with Disneyland. Before the opening of Disneyland in Shanghai in June last year, Wang said that Disneyland should not come to China because it could not conquer the competition from dozens of Wanda Cities opened across the nation.
However, after one year, Disneyland said the Shanghai resort has welcomed more than 11 million tourists, and Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger was quoted by Xinhua as saying that Shanghai Disneyland is likely to hit the financial break-even point during the 2017 fiscal year, extremely quick for a global theme park.