Movie-based theme park opening in Chon Buri

Columbia Pictures Aquaverse in Bang Saray aims to cash in on tourism revival

An artist’s impression portrays an attraction at Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, which is scheduled to open on Oct 11 in Bang Saray in Chon Buri. (Photo: Columbia Pictures Aquaverse)

A theme and water park based on popular characters from Columbia Pictures films will open on Oct 11 in Chon Buri to cash in on a rebound in tourism in Thailand.

The Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, located in Bang Saray, will include characters from movies ranging from Ghostbusters to Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania, according to a release from the entertainment company and Amazon Falls Co, the local developer.

The opening of the park, initially scheduled to start operations in phases a year ago, coincides with a revival in global tourism and scrapping of most pandemic-era travel curbs. Thiailand expects to attract as many as 10 million tourists this year and about 30 million visitors next year, compared with the record 40 million seen in the pre-pandemic year 2019.

The licensing partnership is a low-risk way for Tokyo-based Sony Corp to exploit popular characters from its library of movies and TV shows, which include megahits like Jumanji and Men in Black.

“The Columbia Pictures Aquaverse is the next step in Sony Pictures’ larger global strategy to grow and expand location-based entertainment by utilising its globally known film and TV brands,” Jeffrey Godsick, an executive vice-president at Sony Pictures, said in the statement.

The 14-acre park, located about 20 kilometres south of Pattaya in an area already home to five-star beach resorts and restaurants popular with tourists, will continue to open new attractions in the future, the companies said.

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