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Supplier Update

China’s waterpark wonders WhiteWater makes its mark on the Middle Kingdom

Since designing and supplying the world’s busiest waterpark, Chimelong Water Park in Guangzhou, WhiteWater has experienced considerable growth in China, completing around 30 new projects in the last few years. Later this year the company will complete the largest ever order for the global waterpark sector when it unveils CAD$29 million (US$23.5m/€20.5m) worth of attractions at the new Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark in Zhengzhou. Here David Bogdonov from WhiteWater’s Shanghai office brings us up to speed

We also have local manufacturing in Asia, which helps tremendously too.


Chimelong is constantly among the top waterparks of the world and is a flagship project. We did the conceptual planning at the beginning and supplied the majority of attractions at opening and during the second phase of development. It’s such a success story, and is looked at by every developer we speak to in China. Our customer base in China is growing immensely. We’ve completed a variety of parks for customers like OCT, who have been around for a long time and I would say are seasoned industry professionals. Then there are other players like Wanda and the Happy Magic Water Cube group who have multiple large projects. Still we see neophyte customers in China who are building waterparks for the first time. Some clients are state-owned companies, others private enterprise. The thing that we always preach, and I think clients seem to understand in China, is the need to have a wide cross-section of rides and attractions to capture the whole family. The one thing they are nearly all going for is a high capacity approach, with some parks now doing as many as 40,000 guests per day. That’s huge!

Well-equipped waterparks I think it’s an interesting time for this market develop because the

Whiteater’s Family Boomerango and Abyss at Bali Waterpark, Fushun

ur business really picked up dramatically in China about five years ago. Having a presence in the market with staff that are very customer service minded is much valued by our clients.

industry has evolved dramatically and customers are coming into it at a mature stage and are therefore able to benefit from 35 years of history. I think many people from the Western world would go to a waterpark in China and be in awe at what they would find because they are some of the best-equipped waterparks in the world!

Sometimes we are doing the conceptual or schematic design, other

times it’s just supplying waterslides and attractions. Our goal is to be there at the very beginning of the project to guide the client through the whole process, introduce them to the different players along the way, and help see them through to completion, testing, opening and into operations. I would say that more than 50% of the time we are doing some form of early design work. There are also projects built in China that never even talk to us, of course. Some at a certain level will only consider going with domestic suppliers, however the best in China – the world-class attractions – generally come to international suppliers like us. Tianmu Lake Water World, which opened last year in Changzhou, is

a 4A-class resort area in Jiangsu province, about two-and-a-half hours outside of Shanghai. There’s a bamboo forest, a beautiful lake, a 5- star hotel and some other attractions. It’s also famous for its fish-head soup! They already have a small waterpark area and wave pool, but the new facility covers about 3.5 hectares and there are all kinds of waterslides, family rides and other attractions in there, together with some natural theming.

Passion for the industry The Yinji Kaifeng Waterpark project is developing rapidly. We started working with them in April, 2014 and they are opening later this year. Kaifeng is a city outside of Zhengzhou in Henan province, and the client is Yinji. They have come up with a very ambitious plan for a big indoor/outdoor park. The company is owned by five brothers. The second generation were foreign educated and have exposure to these types of facilities and now want to bring it back to China, but on a much bigger scale. They have a real passion for the industry. The traditional model in China is to develop real estate and put


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