THE investment holding arm of the government, Khazanah Nasional Bhd is diversifying in a big way into the leisure and tourism sector, aiming to be the leading player for themed attractions regionally.
With its string of themed parks, largely in Johor and Singapore, to be completed in phases by 2015, its subsidiary Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd (TAR) is already projecting a double digit return from all of its investments from the fi rst year of operations.
While it was incorporated only three year ago, TAR is ramping up on the skill sets needed by partnering established players with its avowed aim to eventually take on global players for theme park opportunities abroad.
So far, it has signed up partners for the Hello Kitty Town and The Little Big Club at the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, Asia’s first Legoland theme park with British theme park company Merlin Entertainments Group plus Mexican chain of family entertainment centres, Kidzania, for Singapore and Malaysia.
TAR chief executive offi cer Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin said not only serves as a catalyst for the country’s leisure and tourism industry but aims to create world-class homegrown themed attractions such as Lat’s Place — a themed dining experience at Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park in Nusajaya, Johor The close proximity of both the outdoor Legoland park and the four-level indoor Puteri Harbour family destination within Nusajaya serves a total destination for both locals and tourists from Singapore, China, India and the Middle East.
“We are not cannibalising but complementing each other to make Iskandar Malaysia an attraction for people to come and spend more time and money for longer periods on their weekends.”
Kidzania Kuala Lumpur, since opening in February this year, has recorded 100,000 visitors so far, he said.
TAR is confi dent of attracting 500,000 visitors to the RM115 million investment themed park in Puteri Harbour in its fi rst year of operations.
The theme park will house fi ve popular global children cartoons — Lat’s “Kampung Boy”, “Hello Kitty” and famous characters from the “Little Big Club” such as “Barney”, “Bob The Builder”, “Angelina Ballerina”, “Pingu” and “Thomas & Friends”. It is due to be opened by mid-November.
Tickets are available for purchase from today via www.tar.com.my/PuteriHarbour.