The Chosun Ilbo and the Korean Times reported yesterday that the Lotte Group—South Korean chaebol or business conglomerate—has signed an agreement with the Universal Studios to build “Asia’s largest theme park” in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, starting March 2011. It’s called Universal Studios Korean Resort.
Good news for the Koreans, and East Asians in general, who wouldn’t have to travel half the world to LA or Orlando, Fl., to meet up close with King Kong. It is undoubtedly a good business investment, as the resort would draw more tourists into the state of South Korea, stimulating its already robust economy.
Better yet, Universal Studios won’t be the only movie giant investing in South Korea in this new decade. Paramount Pictures has already announced a plan to open a theme park in South Korea since 2008. Its theme park aims to attract five million visitors.
Then there’s a talk about MGM studio opening a theme park near Incheon Airport.
Now, that’s a lot of theme parks for one small peninsula.
There are many ironies in these three cases. First, in this economy, these theme parks are opening one after another, to attract more tourists. When, really, Korea already has one of the largest indoor theme park in the world like Lotte World and another Korea-own Everland, which will certainly be threatened by the emergence of these giants. Second, these three mega theme park projects are bombarding South Korea—a movie capital of East Asia, in my opinion. With its Hallyu wave and all. Rumour has it that Paramount will feature Korean entertainment in its theme park to keep up with the Korean trend. Shouldn’t they mind their own business and leave the famous Korean entertainment for Korean people to manage?
Do you think the opening of three Western theme parks in South Korea is a good idea? Would you go to South Korea to just visit these theme parks?