The Future of Theme Parks in International Tourism
|by Clive B. Jones & John Robinett | |State Of The Industry |Theme Parks And Tourism |Developing Trends |[pic] |Introduction |The theme park has several historical antecedents, including the ride-based amusement parks of early 20th| |century America and the garden parks of Europe. || |The birth of the modern theme park, however, is commonly recognized as occurring with the opening of |Disneyland about 30 years ago. | |Economics Research Associates (ERA) has completed many assignments for the Walt Disney Company over the | |years, and, since Disneyland, theme parks have multiplied throughout the world. And they all bear the | |following primary characteristics: | |They have a family appeal; | |They contain one or more themed environments; | |They have some form of “ambient entertainment.” That is, strolling, musicians, performers, costumed | |characters and the like, who performs for “free”; | |They have a high investment level per unit of ride or show capacity; | |They have high standards of service and maintenance and cleanliness; | |They contain enough activities (entertainment content) to create an average visitor length of stay of | |typically 5 to 7 hours; and finally, | |They will usually, but not always, have a pay-one-price admission policy. | |Recently, there have been variations from the formula. These include theme parks oriented around one | |theme or toward one market. This includes aquatic parks and children’s parks. A second departure from the| |traditional theme park is indoor theme parks combined with retail shopping centers. The largest examples | |of these are West Edmonton Mall in Canada, Lotte World in Seoul and Mall of America in Minneapolis. | |State of the Industry | |The theme park industry has witnessed a fairly rapid international expansion in recent years. Growth has | |been focused mostly in Europe and Japan. It is instructive to compare industry development in the U.S. | |with where other world markets stand. | |The U.S. industry has had about a 30-year growth to maturity. This was characterized by an inception | |period pioneered by Disney in the late 50s and early 60s, rapid growth period through the 70s, and | |maturity in the 80s. Europe and North Asia are currently in the rapid growth phase of their theme park | |industries. The developing countries are in the inception period. While the U.S. experience can not be | |directly translated to foreign markets, we can be reasonably assured that...
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