Business

One year on, Legoland Japan faces uphill battle to increase visitors

JIJI

Legoland Japan is redoubling efforts to increase its visitor numbers, but just one year since its opening the theme park is facing an uphill battle.

The outdoor theme park in the city of Nagoya opened with fanfare on April 1, 2017, mainly targeting families with children aged between 2 and 12.

It has more than 40 attractions for children, and allows visitors to play with Lego toy bricks.

The park has been touted as a major tourism site in the Chubu region in and around Aichi. Before its opening, there were no large-scale theme parks in the region to match Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba Prefecture and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Only two months after the opening, however, the park carried out effective fee cuts in response to complaints that its one-day passport prices were too high.

The operator said in mid-September last year that the number of visitors had topped 1 million. Since then, the company has not announced whether the theme park achieved its first-year goal of attracting 2 million visitors.

As part of efforts to increase visitors, the operator on April 28 opened Legoland Japan Hotel, which includes an aquarium on the first and second floors, in front of the theme park.

But some critics say the park needs to introduce facilities that are attractive to adult visitors. Legoland Japan “has been unable to appeal to adults,” said an official of the Chubu Region Institute for Social and Economic Research, a think tank in Nagoya.