India’s unprecedented economic growth in last two decades and increased purchasing power of their surging middle class has opened up a number of opportunities for the tourism and entertainment industry. Into this new fold of their emerging economy, Sanjay Khan, a leading member of the Bollywood film industry, began to strategize ways to garner this newfound potential to create economically dynamic relationships between the Indian people and their creative industry.
Here EDG was engaged to conceptualize, plan, and develop a business strategy for a master plan resort theme park that celebrated seven different sides of Indian culture – including the retelling of epic mythological tales as well as the history of India’s struggle for freedom under British rule.
In order to holistically integrate these needs, EDG resolved to develop 845 acres (340 hectares) of available property near Agra, India home to the Taj Mahal, one of the most culturally sensitive sites in Indian culture. The planning efforts included a market and feasibility report, a concept and program layout, detailed ride specifications, and an opening day attendance plan – all of which were submitted to the government for a customary approval process.
In the end, the final design featured seven unique themed zones – Lanka, Ayodhya, Indus Valley, Agra, Hastinapur, Patiliputra, Dwarka – each representing one of the seven cities and featured culturally appropriate rides and retail experiences. But beyond the basic layout process is a strategic effort to design facilities that can be marketed to both a national and international audience. By designing world-class restaurants, retail, and entertainment experiences, the resort is able to broaden its appeal as an international resort destination for families and guests.