China’s richest man to build world’s largest tourism company

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BEIJING, China – China’s richest man and chairman of Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin, said the real estate developer is planning to build the world’s biggest tourism enterprise and does not rule out enterin

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BEIJING, China – China’s richest man and chairman of Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin, said the real estate developer is planning to build the world’s biggest tourism enterprise and does not rule out entering aviation.

A company newsletter released yesterday quoted Wang as saying he plans to set up a tourism holding company and achieve annual revenue of 100 billion yuan and 200 million visitors by 2020, overtaking Disney as the world’s largest tourism company.

Wang made the remarks at a tourism investment conference in Chengdu on July 23. It was the first time Wanda revealed its strategy in tourism.

“The goal of Wanda Group is to achieve US$200 billion in assets, US$200 billion in market capitalisation, US$100 billion in revenue and US$10 billion in net profit by 2020, and tourism is an important area we want to develop,” he said.

“We do not rule out the possibility of Wanda making a foray into the aviation industry in the future,” Wang said, hinting the firm may set up its own airline.

“Accessibility is not an issue when it comes to tourism in major Chinese cities but transport supply fails to meet demand in places such as Xishuangbanna and Changbaishan,” he said.

China in 2013 lifted a five-year restriction on applications for new airlines and eased the way for private capital in the sector, spawning a wave of privately owned start-up carriers such as Ruili Airlines, set up by Yunnan conglomerate Jingcheng Group.

Last month, Wanda led a six billion yuan investment with Tencent and Citic Capital in ticketing website LY.com It has bought more than a dozen domestic travel agencies since 2012.

Wanda’s travel agency revenue is expected to reach 10 billion yuan this year, 20 billion yuan by 2017 and 40 billion yuan by 2020, according to the company.

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