A chocolate theme park featuring all things chocolate, aptly named ‘Chocolate Kingdon’ on the Chinese Island of Hainan, is set to become the newest tourist attraction promoting their homegrown cocoa. The project is set to attract 3 million visitors per year initially. The ‘Hainan Xinglong Chocolate Kingdom’ project, developed and operated by Cocoa Family, is a combination of commercial real estate, cultural tourism development and hotel operation covering an area of 370mu (approx. 24.6 hectares). It is located in the key core area of Wanning Daxinglong Tourist Zone and is an independent peninsula extending into the Bitou Reservoir, with unique geographical advantages and natural waterscape resources.

Chocolatiers from around the world have been approached to be involved in the development and planning of this resort. Self-taught Chocolatier Ashley McCarthy from the Chocolate City of York, England, has been asked to join the collaboration as part of the British element. McCarthy who owns and runs a hostelry as well as chocolate business has featured in a number of Chocolate programmes for TV networks showing off his expertise in making Sculptures out of nothing but chocolate. The Chocolatier commented ‘I’m looking forward to being able to visit the site in person and see what has been developed so far, the opportunity to bring the resort alive with Chocolate sculptures is something I can’t wait to get my teeth into- but not literally’ joked McCarthy. He will be given his own chocolate studio where he can work on his many sculptures that will be required for the resort, here visitors will be able to see him and other chocolatiers at work making the tasty delights.

With current Covid restrictions in place McCarthy has been unable to visit the project in person, video footage of him building a sculpture that will be shipped over to the island has been sent over to the media team at the Chocolate Kingdom.

Spokesperson for the Chocolate Kingdom had been quoted saying ‘We are looking for passionate people with a love of chocolate who can do extraordinary things with our chocolate and their talent’, ‘We want to fill the project with interesting and unique Chocolate Sculptures that you will only see within our resort’.

South China’s Hainan province plans to strengthen cooperation with leading chocolate companies and increase the supply of first-grade cocoa to the world market to produce exceptional quality products, China Daily reported.

The article refers to renowned Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, who has been selling new chocolate called Grand Cru in his stores since June. The chocolate is made from Hainan’s cacao beans. “This is a fantastic Grand Cru. I feel a slight bitterness, very pleasant, without astringency, with notes of citrus, grapefruit. It is extraordinary,” the confectioner is quoted as saying.