TEA News

25 October 2021

TEA joins China and the world in welcoming Universal Beijing Resort at industry leaders summit

TEA joins China and the world in welcoming Universal Beijing Resort at industry leaders summit

In September 2021, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) participated in Beijing City Sub-Center Cultural Tourism Industry Summit & Global Themed Entertainment Industry Leaders' Summit. The Summit took place in-person and online and was well attended, receiving major media coverage. TEA’s participation in the Summit is part of the organization’s expanded activity in China since recently completing the establishment of a wholly foreign-owned entity, TEA Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co., LTD (commonly known as TEA China). China has become a global leader in themed experience development, with significant, continued growth in the region.

With the theme of “Innovation, Cooperation, and Win-Win,” the Summit was hosted by the Beijing Tongzhou Cultural Tourism Zone Management Committe, organized by Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Company, and executed by Tripvivid Group.

Within the industry, all eyes are on Beijing this year as the home of Universal Beijing Resort (UBR) which opened to the public on Sept 20, 2021 - and a feature of the Summit was the presentation by Tom Mehrmann, President and General Manager at Universal Studios Beijing Park and Resort. UBR is positioned as an economic growth engine, and the successful opening of this new landmark and tourist destination were showcased at the Summit along with the developing cultural tourism industry of Tongzhou Cultural Tourism Zone and Beijing's sub-center.

“We congratulate everyone involved in the massive undertaking and triumph that is Universal Beijing Resort - operators, business partners, creatives, builders, visionaries - including the many members of TEA who had a role,” says TEA International Board President Chuck Fawcett. “UBR embodies the kind of international collaboration that marks the best of the best in our industry. China is a growth center for the themed experience industry and will continue to be for some years to come. Opportunity is knocking and we’re showing our commitment to the region and to this international dialogue that will build a better industry for all.”

The 2020 edition of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index & Museum Index noted that even in the pandemic, China added 20 parks - from both domestic and international operators - and has plenty of projects in the pipeline. Regional analysts Chris Yoshii and Beth Chang wrote, “The establishment of Universal Beijing Resort, and the ongoing expansion of Shanghai Disney Resort continue an upward trajectory for the industry and reinforce the notion of quality entertainment for parks in China and Asia – raising the bar in the use of technology and media, and leading other parks and all sorts of attractions to follow suit.” The Theme Index is a leading chronicle of the industry produced and published annually by TEA in collaboration with AECOM.

“The Summit sends a positive message for the future of cultural tourism development, and the opening of UBR signals a new era for Beijing,” says TEA Asia Pacific Board President Owen Zhao. “The Tongzhou Cultural Tourism Zone will become a new landmark in the city; as a new, world-class destination theme park drawing regional and international visitors, UBR is expected to exert a significant influence and economic impact on the market.” According to Zhao, as part of China’s Fourteenth Five-Year Plan, additional investments are planned for Beijing’s sub-center, with cultural tourism as a key area.

TEA speakers who addressed the Summit in Sept 2021 were:

  • Miia Taehtinen (Sanderson Group International Pty Ltd.), TEA Asia Pacific, President-Elect
  • Adam Lajoie (Thinkwell Group), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Owen Zhao, (Max-Matching Entertainments, Co., Ltd.), TEA Asia Pacific President
  • Evi Sari (Location Based Experiences Asia, ViacomCBS), TEA International Board member
  • Mark Schirmer (Walt Disney Imagineering), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Adron Leow (ALLF Management Group), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Stephen Thomas Cavit (Iconic Music), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Gregory Arndt (ArtistryWare, Inc.), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Mason Schmitz (P+A Projects Pte Ltd), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Janice Li (Entertainment + Culture Advisors), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Margaret Wong (Golden California, Inc.), TEA Asia Pacific Board member
  • Andrew Kam, (China Culture Tourism Group)
  • Richard Taylor, Rik Athorne and Sam Gao (WETA Workshop)

Live streaming enabled the event to attain viewership exceeding 100,000, and to gain significant attention in the press. More than 260 media outlets have reported on the event with coverage widely distributed on China’s biggest news organizations, including Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily Online, China News Services, Global Times, China Tourism News, Beijing's Daily, Beijing Business Today, Bytedance Jinritoutiao, Tencent News, and Sina News.


About the Themed Entertainment Association

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is an international non-profit association representing the world's leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Our members bring the experience of engaging storytelling and entertainment to a vast number of theme parks, waterparks, museums, wildlife attractions, casinos, hotels/resorts, restaurants, retail stores, sports/performance venues, and an ever-growing list of destinations that aim to bring a higher level of visitor experiences worldwide.

Press inquiries: Please email [email protected]

Posted by Josephine Gilmore



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