With four months of operation, Shanghai Andersen Paradise is ready to expand its experience to other cities in China by signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Royal Danish Consulate in Shanghai on Wednesday.
According to the memorandum of understanding, the two parties will work together to build 30 projects featuring North Europe, Denmark and Andersen's fairy tales. This will be one major tactic to address competition from Disneyland, according to the management team of Shanghai Andersen Paradise.
Nicolai Prytz, consul-general of Denmark in Shanghai, said that the cooperation will strengthen its ties with the theme park, and hopefully bring the park visitors to Denmark in the future.
As the first of its kind in the world, Shanghai Andersen Paradise was officially opened to the public on June 28. The theme park has a daily limit of 7,000 visitors. It has received 350,000 visitors so far.
Located in northeast Shanghai, the Andersen theme park has attracted nearly 2 billion yuan (2 million) of investment. Covering a total of 81,300 square meters, it features a number of works from the Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, such as The Little Mermaid.
Apart from recreational facilities, the theme park also has two restaurants and a shopping center.
The new theme park mainly targets children aged between 3 and 14, with the purpose of bringing parents and children together, said Gui Haozhan, chairman of Shanghai Andersen Paradise.
The theme park will work as a platform to demonstrate cooperation between China and Denmark in culture, education, commerce and travel, he said.
The Chinese theme park market has been quite vibrant. Shanghai Disneyland, the sixth of its kind worldwide, had received 27 million visitors by the end of October since it opened to the public last April, exceeding industry experts' expectations.
The rise of theme parks in Shanghai is just a snapshot of the national scenario. According to global market consultancy Euromonitor International, the sales revenue of Chinese theme parks will reach billion by 2020, making China the world's largest theme park market, overtaking Japan and the United States.
However, infrastructure availability remains a big issue hampering the development of China's theme parks, according to Pascal Martin, partner of the global market research firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. When asked about the reason for not visiting theme parks, one of the prevalent answers was "too far away", he said.