In April, a foreign media report speculated that Fox and another US entertainment company, Warner Brothers, could be making plans to enter the Asian theme park scene as a way to promote their film and television shows.
The report quoted consultancy AECOM’s global director for leisure and cultural service, Chris Yoshii: “For some media companies it’s not just about the theme park but part of a whole series of efforts to promote films and TV shows … theme parks are a physical manifestation of this trend”.
Last month, Genting Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay announced that Genting Malaysia is investing at least RM3 billion to renovate its Genting Highlands resort to compete with standards set at its newer operations in Singapore and the Philippines.
It has been speculated that Genting Malaysia was securing foreign partnership to redevelop the resort operated by Resorts World Genting.
Genting Malaysia’s profits suffered a decline of 1.8% last year to RM1.4 billion compared to RM1.43 billion in 2011, while revenue for last year showed a 7.1% year-on-year decline to RM7.9 billion.
For Q1 2013, Genting Malaysia recorded a total revenue of RM1.87 billion compared to RM1.90 billion the preceding year.
In Malaysia, its leisure and hospitality business recorded revenue of RM1.34 billion, a 3% increase from a year earlier, contributed mainly by higher volume of business and hold percentage.
The theme parks recorded lower ticket sales last year — 3 million compared to 3.4 million in 2011.
Lim said the idea to renovate the resort was to double the Group’s profits, adding that while the company has been making substantial investments abroad, it is time attention be drawn back to its home-grown resort.
Through the facelift, Genting Malaysia hopes to tap into the expanding regional gaming market, while grow the international premium players business.
The theme park’s outdoor and indoor attractions are part of Genting Highlands Resort’s key tourist highlights, aside from Casino de Genting.
Genting Malaysia also owns six hotel properties at Resorts World Genting — Maxims Genting Highlands Hotel, Theme Park hotel, Resort Hotel, Awana Genting Highlands, Golf & Country Resort and the 6,118-room First World Hotel — touted as the world’s largest hotel by the Guinness World Records.
Aside from Resorts World Genting, Genting Malaysia owns Resorts World Casino New York City in US, and over 40 casinos in the UK. In Malaysia, Genting Malaysia also operates two seaside properties — Resorts World Kijal in Terengganu and Resorts World Langkawi.
With the leisure and hospitality industry expected to grow despite continued intensifying competitive pressures in the regional gaming sector, the group has been cautiously optimistic on the overall outlook of the leisure and hospitality industry.
Fox’s previous venture with theme parks in the region is the Fox Backlot Studios cinema and television theme park in Sydney, featuring a Simpsons attraction and a Titanic ride amongst others which opened for operations in 1999. However, after two years, it closed its doors in October 2001.