The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, is said to have cleared a proposal for construction of a US$3.26 billion Universal Studios movie theme park in Beijing.
The theme park, to be located in the Tongzhou cultural and tourism district, is scheduled to open in 2019, Beijing Morning Post reported Tuesday. The facility will initially be spread over 120 hectares and will involve total investment of more than 20 billion yuan, it said.
The park could be expanded later into a 400-hectare development.
The theme park will be jointly owned and operated by Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co., a newly established company by four state-owned firms, and Universal Parks & Resorts.
The project is expected to boost the development of Tongzhou, especially its municipal facilities, transport network and other green projects. The park is expected to attract up to 8 million visitors during its first year of operation and create 10,000 direct job opportunities and 100,000 indirect job vacancies.
A rail link connecting the city center to the theme park will be built using the eastern 4th ring road.
The project, which had been in the works for some 13 years, will incorporate strong Chinese elements and pay “proper homage to culture in China,” Western media quoted Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, as saying.
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