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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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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
RMA Ltd

RMA Ltd is a one-stop global company that can design, build and produce from a greenfield site upw [more...]
instantprint

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

Alterface’s Creative Division team is seasoned in concept and ride development, as well as storyte [more...]
WhiteWater

WhiteWater was born in 1980 to create places where families unite and make joyful lasting memories [more...]
+ More profiles  
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion - Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue!
It’s extremely important for us to show you the process behind every content we produce. Each of our titles stems from deep research, focused on giving you the kinds of content that best fit your venues and target audience. Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

07 Jun 2022

World Sauna Forum 2022

Lapland Hotels Arena, Tampere, Finland
07-10 Jun 2022

IAAPA Expo Asia 2022

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

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