China’s Wanda to invest $9.5 billion in tourism, sports park in Jinan city



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Sports Park in Jinan City

China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has signed an agreement to invest 63 billion yuan ($9.45 billion) to build a tourism and sports complex in Jinan city, cinema-to-theme park developer Dalian Wanda Group said in a statement on Friday.

The project, which will have malls, sports facilities, hotels and a theme park, will raise a further challenge to fierce rival Walt Disney Co, which opened a $5.5 billion resort in Shanghai in June.

Wanda’s Wang has already taken aim at Disney saying the US firm would be no match for his ‘wolf pack’ of parks.

In an interview to Reuters recently, Wang said that Wanda would look to build at least 20 such complexes in China.

The park in the eastern city of Jinan will be the first Wanda project to have an emphasis on sports, as Chinese firms look to tap into growing interest in areas from football and ice hockey to marathon running. Wang has already invested in football clubs and sports media globally.

Wang told Reuters that the domestic tourism sector was growing fast – despite a slowdown in the wider economy – and that it could in the future become a ten trillion yuan market, more than double its current size.

“With the age of high-speed rail and people’s incomes climbing, I think tourism in the future could become the number one industry,” Wang said.

Work on the Jinan Wanda City is expected to begin in 2017 and open its doors in 2021, Wanda said in the statement.

Coliseum Summit, the global series of stadium & arena business conference, will come to Beijing in September 2017, for the 7th Coliseum Summit ASIA.

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