Songcheng Performance redefines the stan

【作者】:佚名【来自】:China Culture Daily【点击数】:【更新时间】:2019-08-30


Recently, the General Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China has published “some suggestions regarding further stimulating the potential of cultural and tourism consumption”, set forth a series of new standards in terms of park production innovation, technology application, and cultural tourism consumption etc. Among which, the State Council specifically demands a “enhanced development of night cultural tourism economy” and plans to “construct a group of national level night cultural tourism consumption venues”. While other industry practitioners are still discussing the exact meaning and direction of this Suggestion, Songcheng Performance has already put this policy into practice willingly, creating “sleepless towns” one after another, with visions ahead of time.



Every strategic choice made by Songcheng seems echoed with the trend of era. Based on the sharp perception of the time, the in-advance prediction of market, and the delicate refinement of productions, Songcheng successfully constructed “Song Dynasty” theme park, created the “theme park + cultural performance” business mode, and further exported its brand, established the network of franchise, and eventually become a world class leading enterprise in tourism performance.


Went gentle into the “night” twenty years ago, and become the pioneer of practical night tourism economy.


In 1997, theme parks were being constructed all over China, with blindness and fever. The problem of having no clear theme and lack of attraction diversity, and most importantly, relying too much on the day time ticket revenue all led to distressing operation for most of these theme parks.


The Hangzhou Songcheng Park was opened for just a year in 1997, and already earned exceptional market feedback by its featured Song Dynasty culture. But Songcheng didn’t stop there. Back then, most tourism parks only opened during daytime and closed before night. But Songcheng discovered that the public cultural consumption was starting to expand towards night time, so it started to think of the possibility to keep attracting the day time visitors by night performances. Hence, it developed the Romantic Show of Songcheng, which was performed at night. Along with the Show, the typical Songcheng business mode of “visiting the park during the day, and watch Romantic Show at night” came into being.


Currently, the State Council is promoting the development of night economy. Its General Office also publishes the “suggestions regarding the development of circulation in order to promote business consumption” with 20 terms and initiatives about stabilizing consumption expectation and restoring the consumption confidence. One of which specifically suggests “to activate night business and holiday consumption market, and enhance supporting infrastructures including traffic, safety, and venues.”


From this year on, many cities across country started focusing on stimulating night tourism consumption as one of the major method to develop local economy. While for Songcheng, it’s been kept practicing for over twenty years all along. With the experience accumulated through twenty years of developing night cultural tourism, Songcheng has discovered multiple ways and modes for night tourism.


Night tourism performance is one of the core businesses of Songcheng. In many cities, the Romantic Show Series has become the cultural symbol of urban night consumption, as famous as their tourism landmarks, which are the reasons that tourists come. In Hangzhou, tourists visit West Lake in day time, and watch the Romantic Show of Songcheng at night; in Sanya, tourists visit the beach in day time, and watch the Romantic Show of Sanya at night; in Lijiang, tourists visit snow mountain in day time, and watch the Romantic Show of Lijiang at night; and in Guilin and Zhangjiajie, tourists enjoy the view of mountain and river in day time, and watch the Romantic Show of Guilin and Zhangjiajie at night,etc.



The Romantic Show Series has become a world level grand show. According to statistics, the Romantic Show of Songcheng has been performed for 26,000 times and received 77 million visitors in total, with billions RMB of total revenue. It was performed up to 18 times within a single day, which created the world record of daily performances among grand tourism performance show. Currently, the Romance Series shows across country are performed 3,500 times per year with over 80 million visitors; the revenue of which accounts for half of the national tourism performance market.


Among all the Romance Show tourists, there are over 60% of them pay their visit at night, which eases the urban tourism and traffic pressure in day time and effectively promotes local night economy at the same time, and further establishes a healthy, sustainable consumption pattern. From the perspective of local government, this could not be achieved even by introducing several world’s top 500 enterprises.



The concept of integrated consumption and the unprecedented “Arts Valley Project”


The State Council also points out in the Suggestion that a bunch of nation level night cultural tourism consumption venues should be created. It is a brand new demand for the whole industry, which implies a new trend of cultural tourism consumption upgrade.


Coincidently, Songcheng is exploring at the same direction, which is the “Arts Valley Project.” The nature of this project is to create cultural tourism consumption venues in cities, to gather performances with more diversity and higher quality together and further create the most distinguished urban cultural landmark. In another word, what Songcheng wants to do is creating the “Chinese Broadway”.


Currently, the Romance Show Arts Valley in Hangzhou Songcheng Park is about to be put into operation. This is a highly integrated, modern and fashionable performance block. It includes multiple 3,000 seats standard theatres, big half-outdoor theatres, and medium 700 to 800 seats theatres as well as one or two hundred seats small theatres. Be it large concert or small experimental drama, all kinds of arts will find here a perfect venue.



In terms of performance repertoire, the Romantic Show Series is undoubtedly the ace. Besides, the project also introduces multiple classic performances from abroad, including drama, opera, musical, acrobatic and other kinds of arts. The arts valley also incorporates fashionable elements like street performance, dancing shows, and international cultural communication etc. Professional or cross-discipline activities will be organized regularly too. All these elements jointly contribute to a brand new urban cultural leisure destination.


Apparently, the Arts Valley Project aims to more than the cultural benefits. It also aims to connect every part of the industrial chain of performance, propel the upgrade of local cultural tourism industry, create an industrial venue of performance just like Broadway did, and ultimately integrate the in-depth economic and social benefits together. Across the whole country, it seems that this unprecedented big dream can only be realized by Songcheng Performance.



As the first listed company in the performing arts sectors, one of the world’s 10 ranking theme park operators, and the winner of Top 30 Culture Enterprises in China for ten consecutive years, Songcheng Performance has topped the world in following five categories: the number of theatres, number of seats, annual total performances, annual audiences, and annual profits. For now, Songcheng Performance owns and operates 50 theatres of all kinds and 120 thousand seats, exceeding the combined seat numbers of London West End and US Broadway.


According to its 2019 semiannual report, during the first half of 2019, the company’s total revenue is RMB 1.42 billion, with RMB 954 million of profits and RMB 785 million net profits. The CAGR for recent five years is 21.49%, and the CAGR of net profits belonging to shareholders of public company is 25.8% for recent five years.


Without this size, capital, and profitability, a company would be impossible to integrate the vast performance industrial chain and create large-scale performance venues. Aside from Hangzhou, Songcheng Performance also invested the Xitang Songcheng Arts Valley Project located in Xitang, Zhejiang, which is already under construction. Someday in the future after this operation mode is mature, it is definitely possible that the Arts Valley will become another major brand to be exported just as the Romantic Show Series.


The integration of culture, tourism, and technology in the reform on the supply leads to the promotion of quality and expansion of volume.


To stimulate the potential of cultural tourism consumption, the reform on the supply is the key. The Suggestion of the State Council clearly points out that resort operators should elevate the quality and expand the volume; upgrade the resort facilities, production innovation and projects; enhance intelligence applications; propel the integration of culture, tourism and modern technology; and develop a brand new generation of immersive cultural experience and tourism consumption. This is just what Songcheng has been doing in recent years.


The integration of culture and tourism is the basis of Songcheng Performance, and Songcheng has been kept interpreting the essence of cultural tourism and making new breakthroughs in order to promote positive consumption by optimum supply. For example, Hangzhou Songcheng Park integrates the Song Dynasty cultural activities and educational tourism together; firstly creates the brand new interactive mode of “Being an actor in Songcheng”. These activities have significantly elevated the participation of consumers and achieved more than expected activeness from tourists.



Songcheng is pretty proud of its culture-tourism integrated operation mode. According to relevant statistics, Hangzhou Songcheng Park alone has achieved annual revenue of RMB 860 million, paid RMB 200 million taxes per year, and promoted a relevant industrial chain worth over RMB 10 billion, with only an coverage less than 16.5 acres. It is the role model of “yield per acre” among Chinese cultural tourism industry projects.


Additionally, Songcheng has been kept optimizing all its parks in terms of park environment and infrastructures. It upgrades the rain shelters, restrooms, roads, vegetation, and atmosphere; adds extra convenience facilities including guide maps, hand-dryers, drinking machines, family rooms, massage chairs, etc.; even provides extra seat cushions for young kids.



To optimize the service supply and further stimulate visitors’ consumption potential requires more than the effort of the park itself, but also the support from government policies to solve some issues that beyond the reach of the park operator. For example, one of the most frustrating and annoying issues for many resorts including Songcheng is the lack of parking area. This issue is nearly impossible to be solved by park operator itself; neither do some policies from cultural tourism department of the government. What the issue requires is a joint effort from the coordination and cooperation of multiple relevant parties.