Claiming to be the world's first undersea tourist destination, Nickelodeon Resort and Attraction eyes to have it built by 2020 in Coron, Palawan Philippines. Viacom International Media Networks unit has planned the 400-hectare as part of Coral World Park (CWP) Undersea with 70 hectares for accommodation and 30 hectares for themed attractions.
It will spread to 16 tropical islands accessible by speedboats. Families will get to see their favorite Nick characters like Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick Starfish, Squidward or even Dora and her cousin Diego advocating ocean protection.
Senior VP Global Recreation for Viacom International Media Networks Gerald Raines said, "We're thrilled to be partnering with Coral World Park to open the world's first undersea attraction and Nickelodeon's first resort in Southeast Asia as we continue to expand on our theme-based attractions in Asia and across the world."
Raines added: "This is yet another important step in boosting the Nickelodeon entertainment experience as we continue to give our fans, kids and their families, new ways to interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love."
Attractions of the park include animal reserves, shipwreck diving, hot springs, hidden lagoons and more. If the project pushes through, it will be the largest coral reef conservation program in Asia.
Meanwhile, various conservation groups have expressed their dismay on this groundbreaking news. Save Philippine Seas took to social media to voice their concern, "Nickelodeon -- a channel for kids -- plans to damage 400 hectares of natural resources and marine life that will no longer be enjoyed by kids and future generations, all for an underwater theme park."
The group launched a campaign in Bataris saying, "Contrary to the press statement that the underwater theme park would 'advocate ocean protection,' it will accomplish the exact opposite. By building artificial structures, you will undeniably damage and disrupt Palawan's marine ecosystems -- our Last Frontier."
"If you are sincere and serious about marine conservation, the money allocated for the underwater theme park should be invested in marine protected areas, sustainable livelihoods for local communities, and environmental education programs."