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Jakob Wahl

The global pandemic hit us all hard, and we’re not over this rollercoaster ride yet


Jakob Wahl has taken over as executive VP and chief operating officer of global attractions industry body IAAPA.

In the new role, Wahl will oversee the regional operations of the global association.

He reports directly to CEO Hal McEvoy – who has announced he will be retiring on 1 April 2023 – and leads the operation of IAAPA’s regional offices, global sales, three global Expos, and additional member events around the world.

Here Wahl tells Attractions Management about his plans for IAAPA.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing IAAPA members right now?
The global pandemic hit us all very hard – the facilities, the suppliers, IAAPA as an association – and we’re still moving through it. This rollercoaster ride is not over. Despite all the resulting challenges, we’ve still seen the global industry come together and grow in new ways – more than ever before. I think our industry still has a solid foundation and our members have learned a great deal the last 24 months. We truly have a bright future.

What’s the most exciting development you see in the market at the moment and why?
The degree of innovation our members have achieved has been astounding. Attractions have pushed for a boost in digitalisation, and I’m amazed by the ongoing trend of social gamification: if you look at the expansion of the Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai, every attraction has some kind of racing or social component to it. Finally, the staycation effect has led to an increased demand for regional parks.

What new initiatives are you planning?
Along with everyone in the industry, we’ve noticed the hurdles of international travel; this is why we try to increase our offer regionally with more gatherings for the local attractions industry. We also further invest into our digital offerings on mobile and web platforms and more digital content available from the Expos.

Do you expect the war in Ukraine to impact the industry?
This tragic conflict has been a huge hit for everyone. We’re impressed by many of our members stepping up, helping to support the victims of this horrible conflict. We’ve helped one of our members who still produces in Ukraine to share their message and also helped another member from Ukraine to find a new position in this industry. Indirectly, all of us feel the impact of this war through higher energy prices. For our members that means that operational costs increase, but also for their customers, the cost to travel to an attraction increases and may keep the public closer to home.

How do you balance the needs of all the different kinds of member attractions?
I actually think that there isn’t anything to balance as it’s in all our interest to promote the industry and develop all aspects of our business. We have the true pleasure of sitting around a table and having everyone sharing their learnings with each other. Even those which you would consider as competitors. That’s what makes this industry so very special.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA represents industry attractions and suppliers Credit: waterworldoceanparkhk
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Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
People
Jakob Wahl

The global pandemic hit us all hard, and we’re not over this rollercoaster ride yet


Jakob Wahl has taken over as executive VP and chief operating officer of global attractions industry body IAAPA.

In the new role, Wahl will oversee the regional operations of the global association.

He reports directly to CEO Hal McEvoy – who has announced he will be retiring on 1 April 2023 – and leads the operation of IAAPA’s regional offices, global sales, three global Expos, and additional member events around the world.

Here Wahl tells Attractions Management about his plans for IAAPA.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing IAAPA members right now?
The global pandemic hit us all very hard – the facilities, the suppliers, IAAPA as an association – and we’re still moving through it. This rollercoaster ride is not over. Despite all the resulting challenges, we’ve still seen the global industry come together and grow in new ways – more than ever before. I think our industry still has a solid foundation and our members have learned a great deal the last 24 months. We truly have a bright future.

What’s the most exciting development you see in the market at the moment and why?
The degree of innovation our members have achieved has been astounding. Attractions have pushed for a boost in digitalisation, and I’m amazed by the ongoing trend of social gamification: if you look at the expansion of the Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai, every attraction has some kind of racing or social component to it. Finally, the staycation effect has led to an increased demand for regional parks.

What new initiatives are you planning?
Along with everyone in the industry, we’ve noticed the hurdles of international travel; this is why we try to increase our offer regionally with more gatherings for the local attractions industry. We also further invest into our digital offerings on mobile and web platforms and more digital content available from the Expos.

Do you expect the war in Ukraine to impact the industry?
This tragic conflict has been a huge hit for everyone. We’re impressed by many of our members stepping up, helping to support the victims of this horrible conflict. We’ve helped one of our members who still produces in Ukraine to share their message and also helped another member from Ukraine to find a new position in this industry. Indirectly, all of us feel the impact of this war through higher energy prices. For our members that means that operational costs increase, but also for their customers, the cost to travel to an attraction increases and may keep the public closer to home.

How do you balance the needs of all the different kinds of member attractions?
I actually think that there isn’t anything to balance as it’s in all our interest to promote the industry and develop all aspects of our business. We have the true pleasure of sitting around a table and having everyone sharing their learnings with each other. Even those which you would consider as competitors. That’s what makes this industry so very special.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA represents industry attractions and suppliers Credit: waterworldoceanparkhk
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COMPANY PROFILES
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
instantprint

We’re a Yorkshire-based online printer, founded in 2009 by Adam Carnell and James Kinsella. [more...]
iPlayCO

iPlayCo was established in 1999. [more...]
Holovis

Holovis is a privately owned company established in 2004 by CEO Stuart Hetherington. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World
Last July 7th, Red Raion took part in the opening event of FICO Eataly World, the Italian theme park dedicated to food - the only one worldwide! Find out more...
More videos:
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
IAAPA Expo Europe Promo – International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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