The 26th Qingdao International Beer Festival, whose 30-day run kicked off on July 29, has brought visitors flocking to the Qingdao Rio Carnival, officially designated as the festival’s sub-venue. With foot traffic expected to surpass last year’s 3 million mark, this year’s Qingdao International Beer Festival has seen new trends emerge as visitors come with their families and prefer higher quality goods. The 350,000 square meter Qingdao Rio Carnival, the flagship project of Carnival Group International Holdings Limited, provides tourists with an array of exciting performances and recreational activities, a symbol of the company’s successful innovative operation model.
As the only publicly listed developer and operator of large comprehensive tourism, hotel and retail projects in Greater China, Carnival Group International Holdings Limited (Carnival International: HK stock code: 996) called on all its resources to build Qingdao Rio Carnival, which went into operation in July 2015 on a trial basis. Since then, it has steadily developed as an excellent home for a wide range of businesses. Without any large-scale publicity, the amount of foot traffic has already exceeded 1.5 million in 2016, and the property has attracted a loyal group of repeat visitors. As construction of the still in-progress Qingdao Rio Carnival is completed, accommodating 10 to 15 million tourists annually, business growth is expected to soar. Annual sales of Carnival Outlets alone is expected to reach 4 billion RMB.
“Our operations over the past year have highlighted Carnival International’s innovative approach to consumption,” said Mr. King Pak Fu, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Group International. “In China, there is a shortage of operators instead of real estate developers. Operation requires a long-term view and the consideration of a range of factors, in order to ensure steady progress over the long term. Superior and innovative operators are essential to long-term sustained economic growth. We need a lot of such operators. I would like to become such an innovative operator, and hope to bring along more investors and franchisers who have the vision and willingness to do such solid work. Only in this way can we work together to boost the overall strength of this new sector.”
The success of the flagship Qingdao Rio Carnival project has attracted the attention of governments and enterprises from the rest of China. Currently, cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Haikou, as well as Fujian province, have invited Carnival International in the hope of replicating their advanced quality consumption model in their own areas as early as possible.
“Carnival International has identified a new path for China’s traditional real estate developers, switching from real estate development to a new type of operations committed to creating a strong consumption model,” said Group Executive Director Meng Cai, a leading figure in China’s real estate industry who joined Carnival International in May. Responsible for the development, construction and operation of the Group’s one-stop leisure, tourism and consumption projects, Meng continued, “I’m very pleased to join this team and hope to use my experience in real estate to help build and spread this consumption model in more places.”
Adopting an innovative turnover-dominated profit-making model of “splitting revenue while pursuing the same interests”, Qingdao Rio Carnival jointly operates with various brands and proportionally shares revenue with stores. This not only guarantees the project’s long-term and sustainable growth as a consumption platform, but also avoids the problem of many commercial developers in their inability to control business operations, allowing them to serve as a “consumption operator”.
Carnival Outlets is a perfect example of this model. As a one-stop outlet for international brands developed and operated by Carnival International, it boasts major names such as Armani, Dolce&Gabbana, a.testoni and Brooks Brothers, as well as famous brands including Nike, Adidas and Gap, not only bringing the best value to consumers but also maximizing the benefits of operating major brands. This model has attracted more major brands to set up stores, with a total of 260 brands expected to provide consumers with a rich variety of shopping options.
Besides offering a superior shopping experience, Rio Carnival also includes many types of leisure and consumption activities to meet the diverse interests of many different ages and types of consumers. Among them, there is a 12-screen DMAX Yaolai Jacky Chan International Movie Theater, the largest and most advanced cinema in Shandong province. The Lego Education Experience Center is the largest in the world, with an area of 6,000 square meters. The indoor Marine Polar Star Skating World can be used as a venue for international ice sports events. Rio Carnival also includes a variety of themed KTVs as well as riverside dining street offering gourmet cuisine from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and around the world. All of these offer a healthy, comfortable and high quality experience to Qingdao residents and tourists from around the country.
In October of this year, with the opening of a five-star hotel for family vacationers and an expo center perfect for wedding celebrations, Rio Carnival will establish a full value chain consumption model integrating dining, shopping, recreation, childhood education, entertainment, fitness, health, and accommodation, becoming a new paragon of real-world experience-oriented consumption in the internet era.
Carnival International VP Mara Wang, a legend of investment promotion in Taiwan, was involved in the overall design, construction, investment promotion and operation of this flagship project. “Unlike the common practice of international outlets dominated by shopping, with only simple decoration and fast food dining, Qingdao Rio Carnival advocates the concept of consumption by the whole family in an interactive manner, and offers consumers healthy and advanced options including entertainment, superior education, advanced fitness, quality shopping, and gourmet dining,” Wang said. “Rio Carnival stands out among outlets around the world in terms of store interior and exterior design, as well as the quality of its decor. The fact that major international brands such as Armani have set up their stores in Carnival for the first time reaffirms our concept of promoting innovative consumption and brings a range of benefits to consumers.”