Published on Friday, 06 September 2013 00:00
Written by MYLA IGLESIAS
Malaya Business News Online - Philippine Business News | Online News Philippines
Enchanted Kingdom (EK), reputedly the largest theme park in the Philippines, plans to invest P5 billion to finance a doubling of its land area and turn it into “an integrated resort” to attract more foreign tourists, company president and CEO Mario O. Mamon announced yesterday.
The master plan for the EK expansion is now being drafted, Mamon said, adding that the project’s aim is to double the park’s size and the number of foot traffic over the next the 10 years.
“Now we’re busy doing the master plan, our ultimate dream is to make an integrated resort but no gambling,” said Mamon, who is also first Asian and first Filipino chairman of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
He said the company is looking at foreign or local partners to help finance the project.
In 1995, the company invested P1.2 billion to build EK and it now estimates costs of P5 billion to build it up to 15 hectares. As of end 2012, the EK foot traffic reached 1.7 million, which has since grown to 1.8 million.
During weekends, 90 to 95 percent of visitors are domestic tourists.
Mamon said that once the expansion is completed foot traffic could double with an expected increase in tourist visitors, particularly from Korea and China.
First opened in October 1995, EK is located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, just south of Metro Manila. It was built at a cost of P1.2 billion, conceptualized by Landmark Entertainment Group and modelled after Universal Studios.
At present, the company has seven themed zones offering different “magical experiences,” Mamon said.
EK will be launching new attractions coinciding with its 18th anniversary celebration in October. They include “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” by IWERKS will be shown for “a year-round Christmas celebration.”