Here’s something for Hello Kitty fans to look forward to once travel resumes—a theme park dedicated to the well-loved Sanrio character is expected to open in Sanya, China, which is already home to resort destination Atlantis Sanya and the world’s largest duty free mall. The country’s southernmost island province of Hainan, affectionately known as China’s “Hawaii”, is known for scenic bays dotted with upscale hotels. Luxury accommodation aside, there’s also Wuzhizhou island and its coral reefs, which are prime destinations for water sports like scuba diving and surfing.
Located in Sanya’s Haitang Bay, a popular beach city in Hainan, the theme park is the result of a partnership between Sanrio’s Shanghai arm and Hong Kong’s Keyestone Group. Its 2024 launch will tie in with the island’s plans to become an international tourism and consumption center by 2025, with plans to ease restrictions on its offshore duty-free policy and develop cross-border cruise tourism.
Estimated to cost US$620 million, the project will feature a theme park, a 250-room luxury hotel, as well as shopping facilities. Keyestone’s licensing agreement to use more than 400 Sanrio characters, including My Melody and Gudetama, means that the theme park will likely feature a wide variety of zones for each of the characters.
Jeremy Phua, Keystone Group CEO said: “We see a growing demand for family entertainment in China. We aim to build a theme park that will be one of the most Instagrammable places in China.”
By the looks of the released concept art, the park will feature an Egyptian-inspired area, including Hello Kitty cameo-ing as The Great Sphinx of Giza, as well as thrilling rollercoasters and other family-friendly rides.