Pico Play expands into Vietnam
Pico Play, a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of themed attractions and entertainment, has expanded into Vietnam.
With international borders reopening, the reawakening of the tourism industry and the themed attractions industry emerging from two years of COVID disruptions - a new epicentre of entertainment has emerged: Vietnam.
The country’s thriving attractions industry has resumed its upward trajectory with new theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centres and nature parks sating the region’s growing appetite for fun.
Pico Play consider Vietnam’s success as resulting from a “laser focus on unique theming and branding, anchoring themed attractions into integrated developments and targeting domestic markets.”
Internationally regarded as ‘the fun-makers’, Pico Play is expanding its international operations with a new fabrication facility and regional office in the Vietnamese port city of Hai Phong in 2022.
Pico Play Director of Business Delivery Noel Dempsey said Vietnam’s vibrant attractions industry was a masterclass in post-pandemic recovery.
He applauded the industry’s fresh approach to theming its attractions over employing licensed brands such as Disney, Marvel or DreamWorks.
Dempsey notes “It’s a really interesting market that has just exploded over the past 10 to 20 years and one that is determined to make its mark, developing more of its own concepts, content theming and narratives and doing so with a sense of pride.
“Another unique factor is how themed attractions are developed in Vietnam.
“They are often on the back of a large-scale property development, where developers and construction groups acquire big parcels of land in beautiful locations for mixed-use precincts such as residential, accommodation, retail and leisure.
“These developers realise to stand out in an increasingly crowded market, they need an anchor attraction to support their investment, whether it’s a theme park, water park or adventure park.”
Dempsey said many property developers did not have expertise in themed attractions so looked to Pico Play for end-to-end service spanning feasibility studies and business planning, to design and modelling, to fabrication and construction, through to ongoing operation and management.
Pico Play Director Darren McLean says the company currently has 24 projects underway in six countries and its new Hai Phong facility will serve as a gateway to northern Asia.
“In addition to meeting Vietnam’s development boom, we’re able to export into China by land and service the broader north Asian market,” McLean says.
Meeting that development boom includes a contract to design and build a new attraction in Sun Group’s much-anticipated Sam Son, the largest theme park under construction, covering 25 hectares when it opens in 2023.
Pico Play is also designing attractions for several Novaland-owned adventure and nature parks and family entertainment centres across Vietnam.
Additionally, the company is working with Sunny World Investment and Development Corp., Bao Son Group and Phat Dat Corporation on a range of attraction projects.
McLean advised “we also completed the interior design and construction of two ride attractions – an indoor dark ride and a flying theatre – for VinGroup’s huge Phu Quoc resort entertainment complex project and finished those just as COVID hit in April 2020.
“We leant heavily on our fabrication facility in Johor, Malaysia to complete this work and soon realised the value in expanding into Vietnam where a huge number of our projects are based.”
The new facility has the advantage of keeping Pico Play’s fabrication work in-house where it can oversee specialist techniques like glass-reinforced concrete, steel fabrication and fibreglass sculpting to provide exceptional end-to-end service to clients.
Once the Hai Phong facility is ready, Pico Play will recruit a local team of skilled artisans and tradespeople including welders, plasterers, production engineers, artists, sculptors and industrial designers.
“Pico Play is internationally connected so we’re across trends and current best practices and we take a realistic approach to business development because ultimately, we want to help developers realise their vision, it speaks to our credibility,” Dempsey said.
“And with the new Hai Phong facility opening this year, we’ll have a physical presence in one of the fastest-growing markets in the region.”
Pico Play is part of Pico Group, a global leader in total brand activation specialising in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands.
For more information about Pico Play, including its projects and facilities in Vietnam, visit pico-play.com
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