Attractions giant Merlin makes Japan move

Attractions giant Merlin makes Japan move

Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments is to expand into Japan with two attractions.

The world’s second biggest visitor attraction operator after Disney plans to open a Madame Tussauds attraction in October in Decks Mall, one of Tokyo’s main shopping and leisure complexes.

The UK company aims to follow this by opening a $15 million Legoland Discovery Centre in the same Toyko Bay shopping mall offering a two to three-hour indoor experience for families with children aged 3 to 10.

Merlin said it was continuing to look for further suitable sites across Japan for its brands – primarily Legoland Discovery Centres and Sea Life. The company’s major shareholder, private equity giant Blackstone Group, brokered the deal to allow Merlin to enter Japan.

Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin’s midway attractions operating group, said:  “Japan is a very exciting marketplace and we have been looking for suitable sites in Tokyo, and other parts of the country, for some time, and believe that Decks Mall offers a great opportunity for us.

“Such projects play an important part in Merlin’s future growth strategy for our ‘midway’ or indoor city centre attractions.”


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