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To play or not to play: a grown-up business. Welcome to the land of theme parks

05 August, 2015

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Date of Publication: 05 August, 2015
The theme parks business sector is growing according to all reports on the global attractions industry. Moreover, its post-recession growth – both in terms of attendance and investment – is a common factor now throughout the USA, Europe and Asia.

The formula for this success seems to be down to investment in new attractions and bigger projects (the highest and steepest new rides as well as intellectual properties being turned into themed entertainment attractions, e.g. Legoland and Harry Potter’s) and how to cover all the family’s needs that go along with a visit (resorts, package tours, food facilities, nearby minor attractions and other amenities).

Disney’s Lake Buena Vista and Universal’s Orlando in Florida are prime examples of having all the right ingredients and using them to their best advantage. Universal’s parks have also scored multiple Thea Awards with their additions of Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express. That this region is capable of creating and anticipating customer demand by constantly working to develop itself, despite already being the market leader, may well be the reason why its parks rank amongst the top 25 amusement/theme parks.

Asia and the Middle East

Both are relatively underdeveloped regions when it comes to theme parks, despite Asia leading the growth in this sector. In Korea and Honk Kong, the local theme parks are having a positive effect on attracting new tourists from the likes of mainland China.

The Middle East, on the other hand, is still a far bet, with many a project in the pipeline yet to materialise, whilst holding a certain promise of success.

Fake it till you make it: the experience factor

The biggest and most successful marketing insight over the past five years is that people are understood to be experience-driven when it comes to purchasing something. And what other than a theme park can live up to this need? So, regardless of the current financial crisis (or rather because of it narrowing down the chances of broader entertainment and other types of vacations), the growth of the theme park industry should, therefore, come as no surprise.

A theme park is a guarantee of an enjoyable day out for the whole family: an easy way for both parents and children alike to spend quality time together as well as feel happy about it.

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