Chinese Themed Attractions Secure Top Honors at Thea Awards Gala

Celebrating imaginative and engaging visitor experiences, themed attractions in China have recently garnered international accolades at the Thea Awards, administered by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). Notably, the “Bermuda Storm” simulator at Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park situated in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, stood out among 14 thematic projects recognized globally. This thrilling ride has captivated audiences with its unprecedentedly colossal curved projection screen, able to entertain roughly 300 people in a single go, thereby setting a new standard in immersive ride technology.

Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex’s “Aura: The Forest at the Edge of the Sky” installation in Hainan Province was also enthroned with a TEA Thea Award, specifically for its pioneering approach to enhancing shopping with immersive concepts.

Moreover, the ceremony in Los Angeles marked a significant milestone with the presentation of the Buzz Price Thea Award for a “Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements” to Su Zhigang of the Chimelong Group. Su’s strategic and imaginative leadership in expanding the Chimelong entertainment empire has been recognized internationally, making him the first Asian entrepreneur to be granted this prestigious honor.

TEA International Board President Melissa Oviedo lauded the award winners for their inventive and pioneering contributions to the field of themed entertainment. She articulated the importance of their ability to captivate millions while simultaneously setting the course for industry’s future.

Su’s acceptance speech reinforced Chimelong Group’s commitment to international collaboration, the elevation of themed events, and the pursuit of sustainable growth within the global tourism sector. The Changlong Group already boasts a proven track record, with its Water Park in Guangzhou consistently drawing the world’s largest crowd, according to TEA statistics.

Since its inception in 1991, TEA remains dedicated to representing the architects of themed entertainment. Through the annual Thea Awards, TEA continues to spotlight those exceptional narratives and creations that play a pivotal role in advancing the industry and offering guests around the world unforgettable experiences.

The Themed Entertainment Industry

The themed entertainment industry has become an increasingly significant component of the global entertainment landscape, with China emerging as a pivotal market for growth and innovation. Themed attractions such as theme parks, simulators, and immersive installations draw millions of visitors each year with their blend of storytelling, technology, and design. The recognition of projects like Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park’s “Bermuda Storm” simulator at the Thea Awards underscores the industry’s evolution towards more immersive and technologically advanced experiences.

Market Forecasts

According to industry reports, the global theme park market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of several percent over the next few years, with the Asia-Pacific region playing a vital role in this expansion. China, in particular, is anticipated to contribute significantly to this growth due to rising incomes, an increasing middle class, and a strong domestic tourism industry.

Industry Issues

Despite the promising outlook, the themed entertainment industry faces challenges such as the need for continuous innovation, sustainability in operations, and adaptability to changing consumer preferences. Furthermore, the global COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to the industry, with lockdowns and social distancing measures impacting visitor numbers and necessitating enhanced health and safety protocols.

In response to these issues, industry leaders like Su Zhigang and companies like Chimelong Group are focusing on international collaboration and sustainable growth to ensure long-term success. Su’s recognition with the Buzz Price Thea Award for “Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements” illustrates the importance of visionary leadership in navigating these challenges.

The themed entertainment industry continues to strive for experiences that not only entertain but also educate and inspire. Organizations like TEA play an integral role in supporting this venture by providing recognition and fostering a community among creatives and businesses worldwide.

For those interested in learning more about the Themed Entertainment Association and its contributions to the industry, you can visit their website with the following link.

Firmly entrenched in its role as a beacon for the global themed entertainment industry, TEA’s commitment to excellence through the annual Thea Awards is set to propel the industry to greater heights, shaping the way millions experience storytelling and entertainment.

As the industry looks towards the future, one marked by rapid technological advancement and an increasing demand for personalized and unique visitor experiences, the pioneers celebrated at the Thea Awards will likely continue to lead the charge in creating the next generation of immersive attractions.



Marcin Frąckiewicz is an esteemed satellite technology engineer, known for his expertise in satellite communications and aerospace technology. His work involves the development and enhancement of satellite systems, focusing on improving communication capabilities and data transmission reliability in space. Frąckiewicz's contributions are critical in advancing global satellite networks, which are essential for various applications including navigation, weather forecasting, and global communications. His innovative approaches in satellite technology not only solve complex technical challenges but also pave the way for new possibilities in space exploration and Earth observation.