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Research
On the right track

US theme parks are seeing growth again and with innovation in key areas, they could appeal to a wider clientele, according to new research. Mintel’s Mike Gallinari makes sense of the numbers


It’s been a rollercoaster few years, but the US theme park industry is broadly back on track against its pre-pandemic growth trajectory, having generated an estimated US$22.9bn in revenue in 2022.

As parks reopened, sales rebounded from the pandemic decline, however, the recovery isn’t complete, as international travellers have yet to return in full. While only accounting for 10 to 20 per cent of guests, they tend to spend more than domestic guests on high-margin items; as a result, the full potential of theme park revenues is still waiting to be realised.

According to Mintel, year-on-year growth for theme park holidays is projected to be a little slower than in the years preceding the pandemic. The steadiness in growth, however, doesn’t mean the industry is without headwinds due to economic factors. Inflation continues to dog consumers, making them reconsider their discretionary spending.

THEME PARK HOLIDAYS
Travel’s roaring rebound has brought about a reorganisation of holiday priorities, meaning theme park trips have been pushed down the list of desired options. So while theme park visitation has recovered in general, the rebound has come on the back of single-day visits, leaving multi-day trips with ground to make up.

Mintel’s consumer research confirms the challenges the industry faces. The reality is that for many, theme park holidays aren’t a top travel priority. Only 34 per cent of Americans say this would be one of their top five choices in the next year and in returning to travel, consumers are instead setting their sights on beach holidays and road trips.

Theme park visits are also considered a big undertaking by some. Among travellers considering this kind of holiday, 76 per cent say such trips are expensive and nearly half say they’re exhausting to plan, so making the experience more frictionless could help business.

THE OPPORTUNITIES
Game-inspired attractions represent a largely unrealised IP at theme parks, which have historically been built on the back of movie properties, harking back to Disneyland’s leaning on its animated film characters.

Just as media has evolved in the years since that park’s opening in 1955, so too have media preferences. To this end, potential theme park vacationers say that video game IPs (39 per cent) are second only to movies (47 per cent) when it comes to seeing IP-inspired rides and attractions in parks. With relatively few video game IPs appearing in theme parks, there’s potential for partnerships, such as that being undertaken by Universal with its Super Nintendo World launches.

Prospective visitors were also asked about secondary spend. Fast pass/line skipping (56 per cent) took priority, followed by dining/drink deals (52 per cent) and early entry (44 per cent).

VISITOR PRIORITIES
These responses show holidaymakers aren’t just concerned with moving through the park quickly; otherwise, early entry would hold more weight. Rather, they’re thinking about the quality of their visit. A park-affiliated travel provider that can provide for this will be more appealing to travellers.

Offering deals on fast passes or early entry could convince guests to choose to stay on-property, as opposed to in cheaper, unaffiliated hotels. The same can be said for offering in-park dining credits, which can be appealing given that over half (58 per cent) of the sample say they’d rather eat at the park than at an affiliated hotel.

All these changes will help parks to increasingly welcome back greater numbers of theme park travellers as the market continues to strengthen.

Mintel’s Mike Gallinari

COMPANY PROFILES
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
Red Raion

Founded in 2014, Red Raion is the CGI studio for media-based attractions. [more...]
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Research
On the right track

US theme parks are seeing growth again and with innovation in key areas, they could appeal to a wider clientele, according to new research. Mintel’s Mike Gallinari makes sense of the numbers


It’s been a rollercoaster few years, but the US theme park industry is broadly back on track against its pre-pandemic growth trajectory, having generated an estimated US$22.9bn in revenue in 2022.

As parks reopened, sales rebounded from the pandemic decline, however, the recovery isn’t complete, as international travellers have yet to return in full. While only accounting for 10 to 20 per cent of guests, they tend to spend more than domestic guests on high-margin items; as a result, the full potential of theme park revenues is still waiting to be realised.

According to Mintel, year-on-year growth for theme park holidays is projected to be a little slower than in the years preceding the pandemic. The steadiness in growth, however, doesn’t mean the industry is without headwinds due to economic factors. Inflation continues to dog consumers, making them reconsider their discretionary spending.

THEME PARK HOLIDAYS
Travel’s roaring rebound has brought about a reorganisation of holiday priorities, meaning theme park trips have been pushed down the list of desired options. So while theme park visitation has recovered in general, the rebound has come on the back of single-day visits, leaving multi-day trips with ground to make up.

Mintel’s consumer research confirms the challenges the industry faces. The reality is that for many, theme park holidays aren’t a top travel priority. Only 34 per cent of Americans say this would be one of their top five choices in the next year and in returning to travel, consumers are instead setting their sights on beach holidays and road trips.

Theme park visits are also considered a big undertaking by some. Among travellers considering this kind of holiday, 76 per cent say such trips are expensive and nearly half say they’re exhausting to plan, so making the experience more frictionless could help business.

THE OPPORTUNITIES
Game-inspired attractions represent a largely unrealised IP at theme parks, which have historically been built on the back of movie properties, harking back to Disneyland’s leaning on its animated film characters.

Just as media has evolved in the years since that park’s opening in 1955, so too have media preferences. To this end, potential theme park vacationers say that video game IPs (39 per cent) are second only to movies (47 per cent) when it comes to seeing IP-inspired rides and attractions in parks. With relatively few video game IPs appearing in theme parks, there’s potential for partnerships, such as that being undertaken by Universal with its Super Nintendo World launches.

Prospective visitors were also asked about secondary spend. Fast pass/line skipping (56 per cent) took priority, followed by dining/drink deals (52 per cent) and early entry (44 per cent).

VISITOR PRIORITIES
These responses show holidaymakers aren’t just concerned with moving through the park quickly; otherwise, early entry would hold more weight. Rather, they’re thinking about the quality of their visit. A park-affiliated travel provider that can provide for this will be more appealing to travellers.

Offering deals on fast passes or early entry could convince guests to choose to stay on-property, as opposed to in cheaper, unaffiliated hotels. The same can be said for offering in-park dining credits, which can be appealing given that over half (58 per cent) of the sample say they’d rather eat at the park than at an affiliated hotel.

All these changes will help parks to increasingly welcome back greater numbers of theme park travellers as the market continues to strengthen.

Mintel’s Mike Gallinari

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Museum director Cecilie Hollberg has come under fire for comparing the city to a sex worker due to uncontrolled mass tourism.
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Populous have unveiled their plans for a state-of-the-art e-sports arena, designed to stand as a central landmark in Qiddaya City’s gaming and e-sports district, Saudi Arabia.
Raby Castle reveals ambitious plans to become a major visitor destination
Raby Castle, known as one of the finest medieval fortifications in England, is nearing the end of an ambitious two-year renovation project.
Wake The Tiger launches new 1,000sq m expansion
Wake the Tiger, the Bristol-based immersive art experience, is set to open its 1,000sq m expansion on Friday 2 February.
Merlin teams up with Hasbro and Lego to create Peppa Pig experiences
Merlin Entertainments, the LEGO Group and Hasbro have teamed up to create Peppa Pig experiences.
Tate Modern and Frame collaborate on a mind/body experience
London boutique operator, Frame, has teamed up with the Tate Modern to offer two yin and sound yoga classes, following by a tour of the art gallery.
Elvis Presley Live is rolling out globally
Immersive entertainment specialists, Layered Reality, is creating a tribute to Elvis Presley featuring a concert experience with a life-sized digital Elvis.
Carmel Lewis takes top spot at BRC
Carmel Lewis has been appointed president at global experiential planning and design firm, BRC Imagination Arts, heralding a new era for the company.
Perth Museum to launch at Easter with rare Jacobite objects
Opening over Easter weekend in March 2024 after a £26.5m redevelopment project, Perth Museum will tell the story of Perth – Scotland’s first capital.
'World's largest' indoor ski centre slated to open in 2025
Huafa Snow World, a 131-hectare entertainment destination in Shenzhen, China, designed by architecture firm, 10 Design is slated to open in 2025.
Therme Group confirms Incheon Golden Harbor location for South Korean wellbeing resort
Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group has announced the location of its first Asia Pacific project. The upcoming resort will open in South Korea’s Incheon City as part of its Golden Harbor development.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
Simworx Ltd

The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
Red Raion

Founded in 2014, Red Raion is the CGI studio for media-based attractions. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

08-08 May 2024

Hospitality Design Conference

Hotel Melià , Milano , Italy
04-07 Nov 2024

Global Wellness Summit (GWS)

In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


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Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

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LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
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