Commercial Retail Space Requirements

The quantum of retail activity that can be supported in the Resort Area would have to be the study focus of a detailed commercial analysis based upon projected turnover, operating costs, and operating margins. Marketing studies have preliminarily determined the total forecast in average visitor spending and the profile of that expenditure, as set out below.





Total Visitors

2 million

4 million


Peak day visitors




Expenditure (¥m)



Average ¥859
/visitor (2002)*

Retail purchases



% of total

Estimated total retail spend (¥m)




Estimated on site retail spend (¥m)



75% of total

Retail Unit sale price




Equiv monthly rental

274 ¥/m2


At 6% over 10 years

Labour and services

500 ¥/m2


Labour, profit, tax, insurance, utilities

Total monthly cost

774 ¥/m2



Operating margin




Total floor space requirement

6700 m2

13,850 m2


Retail Requirements
*Source: Jiangsu Tourism Statistics 2002

A number of locations exist within the proposed development area for retail provision. These include the Gateway Centre, the Pangu Centre, and Country Park Villages. It is proposed that the Gateway Centre forms a major commercial area and consequently the bulk of these retail facilities are located within it. The proposed distribution of retail space is set out below.





Total retail (m2)




Country Park (m2)



15% of total

Pangu Centre (m2)



10% of total

Gateway Centre (m2)



75% of total

Distribution of Retail Space

Pangu Centre

A major and unique visitor attraction has been identified as a USP for the proposed resort area has been identified. It is a key development requirement with which to position the resort and attract significant visitor flows. At the same time there is the obvious danger of implementing an attraction that conflicts with the quality and environmental goals set for the resort. The wrong type or theme of attraction runs the danger of both re-positioning the development as a sight-seeing destination and competing with other visitors parks which have sprung up throughout China in recent years. The challenge has been therefore to identify a unique, exciting, and sustainable attraction for visitors.
Two of the key goals set for the resort as a whole are quality and environmental sustainability. A number of attraction themes were investigated against these goals and the Eden Project in the United Kingdom was identified as a possible model for a future attraction at Taihu Bay.

The Eden Project is a UK charitable trust dedicated to environmental research and education. On the site of an abandoned quarry in the southwest of England the trust has constructed the world’s largest biodome environment, the Eden Project. These vast enclosed gardens, and open areas, showcase the flora of a range of climatic regions on a year-round basis. Not only has the Eden Project become a leading environmental research and educational centre but in the two years since it opened one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.

The Wujin-Taihu Bay Holiday Resort Study has identified a number of serious environmental issues associated with the development of the site; these include extensive quarry workings, poor lake and river water quality, and deforestation of the hillsides. These problems occur throughout the Yangtze River Delta Region and are the subject of increasing government and public concern. To address these problems on site and to provide an educational model for the wider region the study has proposed that an environmental demonstration centre, the Pangu Centre, be constructed on the site of abandoned quarry workings.

The Pangu Centre, named for the Chinese god of creation, would showcase the flora of China from the tropics to the Himalayas, and provide a model for landscape restoration. In addition it is hoped that the Centre would incorporate an Interpretative centred for Taihu, China’s third largest water body.

With the development of a nearby university campus for in excess of 100,000 students in Wujin it is proposed that a university environmental research campus could be co-located with the Pangu Centre.
The Eden Project in its Quarry Site

Like the UK Eden Project it is proposed that the Pangu Centre operates as an attraction whose primary function is environmental research and education. Like Eden the facility would be operated on a commercial-basis and be self sustaining. It is estimated that the proposed Pangu Centre would attract in excess of 2 million visitors a year.

The proposed major elements for the Pangu Centre are:

  • Pangu China Biosphere, comprising a series of zones of buildings representative of the major climatic regions and flora of China from the tropics of Hainan to the Mongolian Steppe and the desert of Xinjiang


  • Taihu Ecology Centre, exhibiting the wetland ecology and aquatic life of the lake and wetlands areas. Particular emphasis should be placed upon the protected species and environments.

Dragon Bay Research Campus, a post-graduate level ecological and environmental research and teaching facility associated with leading regional and international universities and research institutes focussing on flora, freshwater and wetland environments.


Eden, Biome Interior

A visit was made to the study by the Eden project who endorsed the concept of constructing this major environmental and educational attraction in Wujin. In response to local cultural, social, educational, and environmental conditions the Pangu Centre will require to be specifically designed for the Chinese public, in the same way that Eden responds in content to its British visitors. An early feasibility study to determine the focus and content of the project is therefore recommended.