A Chinese company is investing more than 50 million yuan (about $8 million or £5 million) to build an amusement park that is entirely dedicated to British-themed teddy bears.
The huge 400-hectare park, which is a joint venture between a Chinese company and The Great British Teddy Bear Company, is going to be located just 30km south of central Beijing. Certain parts of the teddy bear park are expected to open to the public next May.
Paul Jessup, the founder of the UK-based Great British Teddy Bear Company, which manufactures teddy bears with British themes, said that the park is aimed at “families of all generations to interact, create memories and have a British experience.” The companies are expecting around 250,000 visitors annually once the park opens its doors. Jessup also said the teddy bear park is going to include a food court, which will be serving British food like fish and chips, as well as a “Shakespeare theatre” that will feature different shows played by people dressed in large teddy bear costumes.
Apparently, British culture has a growing number of fans among younger Chinese generations, thanks to the §popularity of TV shows like Sherlock and Downtown Abbey. The British company’s founder said that a quarter of all online sales come from China, and almost all of the customers opt for a Sherlock Holmes teddy bear.
Martyn Roper, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Beijing, said that the teddy bear park can be very beneficial for the United Kingdom, as it would “inspire more Chinese tourists to visit the UK in future”.