The key design of a theme park at Legoland Shanghai Resort has been completed and construction of the main project will begin in September, local government authorities said on Wednesday.
Covering a total area of 318,000 square meters, the resort — located in Jinshan district in the southeastern part of the city — will consist of the Legoland theme park and a hotel.
At least 50 percent of the theme park's civil engineering project, including construction of the building, roads and basic utilities, will be completed by the end of this year when some landmark buildings are expected to top out, the Jinshan government said.
Liu Jian, Party secretary of Jinshan district, paid a visit to the construction site of the resort on Tuesday.
Stressing construction quality, Liu also pointed out the importance of soliciting retailers and other businesses so that the resort can attract more visitors.
The agreement to open a new Legoland in Shanghai was signed during the China International Import Expo in 2019. The groundbreaking ceremony for the resort was held in mid-November 2021. A model of the resort was unveiled at the 5th CIIE with the completion of its schematic design.
The total investment for the resort is expected to exceed 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).
United Kingdom-based Merlin Entertainments Ltd will be responsible for the operation of the theme park.
During a news briefing in February, Chen Jie, general manager of Legoland Shanghai Resort, said a recovery in China's tourism sector has been evident, which will facilitate the development of the theme park industry.
Data released by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday showed that the city reported 139 million domestic tourist trips during the first half of this year, up 100 percent year-on-year. Income from domestic tourism also doubled from last year to top 155 billion yuan in the first six months.
Shanghai International Resort, where Shanghai Disney Resort is located, reported 13 million visitor trips in the first half, which was 50 percent higher than in 2019.
The resort's tourism income touched 9 billion yuan in the first six months, 90 percent higher than the 2019 level.
The total number of domestic tourist trips in China surged 63.9 percent year-on-year to exceed 2.38 billion in the first six months, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Domestic tourism income spiked 95.9 percent from a year earlier to 2.3 trillion yuan in the first half.
According to Chen, there are 10 Legoland theme parks operating worldwide at present. Three more theme parks are under construction in Shanghai, Chengdu of Sichuan province and Shenzhen of Guangdong province.
"While China is already the world's second largest theme park market, the growth potential is huge. Therefore, we have full confidence in building the Shanghai resort into a flagship project among all Legolands in the world," she said.
The first Legoland was built in Billund, Denmark. One of the stakeholders of Legoland Shanghai Resort, KIRKBI, owns 75 percent of Lego Group.