How a Canadian company is driving water park development in China
China’s shifting consumer demographics and government support of the country’s middle class have seen a rise in recreational spending, and subsequent development of recreation facilities to meet the growing demand. One sector witnessing dramatic growth in China is the water park industry, and this article looks at several drivers behind that trend.
Consumer growth in China
Over the past couple of decades China has evolved to a new economy with advanced manufacturing technology and growth in financial and service sectors, including tourism. Against this backdrop, the country has called for further focus on the development of the middle class and a coordinated initiative to expand internal consumption.
Money for fun
Spending on recreational activities – including travel, dining out, sports and gaming – is much lower in China than in other countries. It is anticipated that as incomes rise and the middle class balloons, recreation and tourism will see the biggest growth.
With this growth in tourism and recreation, large property developers have been driving to diversify their activities and expand operations beyond the traditional commercial and residential projects into the tourism and leisure sector. With a lower barrier to entry than traditional amusement or theme parks, water parks are proving to be a popular choice among developers. The past decade or so saw the first wave of Chinese water parks as the industry “got its feet wet” in the country.
Chinese water parks come of age
These days, an eager Chinese consumer audience is demanding more unique and dynamic experiences for their destination dollars. As a result, developers are demanding more from the industry: they need customized, high-performance attractions, manufactured to the highest quality standards in the industry.
Calling in the leader
Enter ProSlide. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, ProSlide is the global leader in water slide manufacturing and water park planning and development, and provides water park design for new and expanding indoor and outdoor water parks around the world. With the reputation as the worldwide industry leader, ProSlide started to receive more and more requests from a Chinese market hungry for superior performance, relentless quality, and award-winning innovation. Why ProSlide, a Canadian company?
Who is ProSlide?
When former Canadian National Team ski racer Rick Hunter founded ProSlide in 1986 he partnered with one of Canada’s largest sailboat manufacturers and introduced the highest-quality fiberglass – built to withstand harsh marine conditions – to the water park industry. And so decades of innovation led to inventingiconic rides that have since taken over the industry and driven the technology revolution.
For many Chinese developers, it comes down to this:
- ProSlide is the only global water ride manufacturer with the product breadth and depth, experience and proven ability to introduce thrilling and reliable new innovations year after year.
- ProSlide pioneered every major water ride innovation in the industry, and has won more Best Water Ride awards than all other water slide manufacturers combined. They are the only company in the world to win the industry’s highest honor – the IAAPA Impact Award – more than once. They’ve won it three times!
- ProSlide is the only global water ride manufacturer single-sourced by the biggest and best amusement brands in the world. Their rides power parks built by Disney, Universal, Six Flags, Great Wolf Lodge, Wet ’n’ Wild, Lotte World and many more, with installations in more than 50 countries worldwide.
A transforming market
ProSlide first entered the Chinese market in the late 1990s. Seeing rapid growth and the clear trend toward tourism and leisure, ProSlide established a permanent presence in China with an office in Shanghai to support the ongoing opportunities in the region, and to drive the next wave of water park and water theme park development in Asia.
In just the past seven years ProSlide has worked with leading Chinese organizations such as OCT, Wanda, Evergrande, Fosun, and Chimelong, building the best parks across China, including:
- Happy Magic Beijing Water Cube
- OCT Playa Maya best parks in Tianjin, Shanghai, Yunnan, Wuhanand Chongqing
- Wanda projects in Hefei and Wuxi
- The most popular rides at Chimelong– the BehemothBOWL™ 60 and TORNADO® 60
- The newest Atlantis Resort in Sanya, Hainan
- The Coastal Water Park destination on Ocean Flower Island located inHainan, China
What’s next for China’s water park industry?
As demographics continue to shift and more and more emphasis is being placed on fun and recreation, ProSlide is working very closely with their Chinese clients, helping them usher in the next phase of water parks and water theme parks in Asia. Together they are transforming dreams into reality and creating some of the highest-performing, smoothest-running parks on the planet.According to Rick Hunter, President of ProSlide, “It’s an exciting time to be in China! The Chinese have a real passion for excellence, and a deep desire for quality and innovation. We’re thrilled to continue introducing new and innovative rides and planning world-class parks that are really starting to transform the industry over there. The next few years are going to be spectacular!”