China’s first V R theme park brings a vision for growth

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It was a typically bleak patch of rural China until a giant robot and space age structures radically transformed the Guiyang skyline, as workers put the finishing touches to the Oriental Science Fiction Valley Theme Park, which opens its doors in February.

And while the name may sound as bland as the surroundings, inside, a feast of visual entertainment awaits.

From shoot-em-up games to roller coasters, this $1.5 billion project is all about virtual reality -making it China’s first and only VR theme park, something execs say has the potential to revolutionize the economy in on of the country’s poorest provinces.

Executive President of Shuimu Animation Co. Ltd and CEO of Oriental Science Fiction Valley Theme Park, Chen Jianli, says: “I believe that after our attraction opens, it will change the entire structure of tourism in Guizhou province, as well as China’s southwest.”

The sky in Guizhou may rarely be as blue as it appears in this promotional video, but with China’s virtual reality market worth an expected $8.5 billion by 2020, the 330-acre park has the potential to be a bright business opportunity.

Still, not everyone’s buying into it.

“There are projects that are polluting the environment. We farmers want to get rid of this pollution. It’s bad for the countryside, our kids, and our society.”

Local villagers are worried the park is only adding to the dirty air that’s long been a problem in the area, a reality that there’s nothing virtual about.