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NEWS
SeaWorld CEO reveals orca alternatives for Middle Eastern expansion
POSTED 25 Jul 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
CEO Joel Manby wants to move away from the animal entertainment centred attraction to a broader mix Credit: Shutterstock
SeaWorld’s first attraction outside of North America will be its first not to include killer whales, with CEO Joel Manby lining up several big alternatives for the company.

The company, which pledged its current generation of orcas would be its last in captivity earlier this year, has firmed up plans for a Middle Eastern expansion – rumoured to be coming to either Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia.

“We have moved to a definitive agreement stage, money has changed hands and we’re currently designing the park, but we haven’t made a public announcement of where and who – something we hope to to in the fall,” said SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby, speaking to Attractions Management.

Under Manby’s stewardship, SeaWorld has spent the last year-and-a-half redefining itself as a park that cares and one that wants to create memorable experiences.

Manby first announced progress in SeaWorld’s global expansion plans during a call regarding the company’s annual earnings report, saying the company had “moved to the next phase” of its international development strategy by signing an MoU with a Middle Eastern partner.

When SeaWorld announced the end to orca breeding at its parks, it said that its whales would “live out their lives at the company's park habitats”.

The move signals a new phase in the life of SeaWorld, with plans for a broader entertainment mix to replace its iconic orcas.

“Things are certainly progressing and it will be the first SeaWorld attraction ever to not have a killer whale facility,” Manby said. “We’re looking at other really big ideas in place of that.”

Manby also unveiled his vision for the future of SeaWorld: “Right now our parks are kind of built around large animal stadiums – dolphins, whales, sea lions etc,” he said. “We’re adding in an expanded ride mix with things like Mako, which we just launched in Orlando. We’re also looking at virtual reality to bring in animals that can’t be brought in live or to go behind the scenes with animals you can’t get near. We’re broadening the entertainment mix so we’re not just about animal entertainment venues, we want to be a caring animal company that’s really fun to visit but not just about animal entertainment.”

When asked about plans for further international expansion, Manby said it was certainly a possibility.

“When it comes to international expansion, yes we would like to do that but first-things-first we are currently very focused on getting the first one done in the Middle East. We are also looking at other Discovery Cove locations and we want to expand our resort strategy for our existing parks.”
RELATED STORIES
  Orca sanctuaries would be unsafe for animals, says SeaWorld CEO


SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby has addressed the possibility of seaside sanctuaries for its whales, stating that the “experiment” by Baltimore’s National Aquarium to move its animals into such an enclosure could cause health problems.
  SeaWorld announces poor Q1 results for 'transitional' 2016


Despite making a number of positive moves to redefine itself as a park that cares and one that wants to create memorable experiences, SeaWorld suffered a disappointing first quarter, with CEO Joel Manby saying he expects the trend to continue through the year.
  Former SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison leaves company in board shakeup


SeaWorld Entertainment has announced the departure of former CEO Jim Atchison from the company’s board, also appointing two veteran theme park industry executives – Ron Bension and Donald Robinson – to roles at the head of the company.
  SeaWorld creative added to ethics panel for TEA Summit


Anthony Esparza, chief creative officer (CCO) at SeaWorld, has been added to the lineup for the TEA’s annual summit next week.
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NWTO: Mountain tourism now accounts for up to 16 per cent of international tourist arrivals
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
NEWS
SeaWorld CEO reveals orca alternatives for Middle Eastern expansion
POSTED 25 Jul 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
CEO Joel Manby wants to move away from the animal entertainment centred attraction to a broader mix Credit: Shutterstock
SeaWorld’s first attraction outside of North America will be its first not to include killer whales, with CEO Joel Manby lining up several big alternatives for the company.

The company, which pledged its current generation of orcas would be its last in captivity earlier this year, has firmed up plans for a Middle Eastern expansion – rumoured to be coming to either Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia.

“We have moved to a definitive agreement stage, money has changed hands and we’re currently designing the park, but we haven’t made a public announcement of where and who – something we hope to to in the fall,” said SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby, speaking to Attractions Management.

Under Manby’s stewardship, SeaWorld has spent the last year-and-a-half redefining itself as a park that cares and one that wants to create memorable experiences.

Manby first announced progress in SeaWorld’s global expansion plans during a call regarding the company’s annual earnings report, saying the company had “moved to the next phase” of its international development strategy by signing an MoU with a Middle Eastern partner.

When SeaWorld announced the end to orca breeding at its parks, it said that its whales would “live out their lives at the company's park habitats”.

The move signals a new phase in the life of SeaWorld, with plans for a broader entertainment mix to replace its iconic orcas.

“Things are certainly progressing and it will be the first SeaWorld attraction ever to not have a killer whale facility,” Manby said. “We’re looking at other really big ideas in place of that.”

Manby also unveiled his vision for the future of SeaWorld: “Right now our parks are kind of built around large animal stadiums – dolphins, whales, sea lions etc,” he said. “We’re adding in an expanded ride mix with things like Mako, which we just launched in Orlando. We’re also looking at virtual reality to bring in animals that can’t be brought in live or to go behind the scenes with animals you can’t get near. We’re broadening the entertainment mix so we’re not just about animal entertainment venues, we want to be a caring animal company that’s really fun to visit but not just about animal entertainment.”

When asked about plans for further international expansion, Manby said it was certainly a possibility.

“When it comes to international expansion, yes we would like to do that but first-things-first we are currently very focused on getting the first one done in the Middle East. We are also looking at other Discovery Cove locations and we want to expand our resort strategy for our existing parks.”
RELATED STORIES
Orca sanctuaries would be unsafe for animals, says SeaWorld CEO


SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby has addressed the possibility of seaside sanctuaries for its whales, stating that the “experiment” by Baltimore’s National Aquarium to move its animals into such an enclosure could cause health problems.
SeaWorld announces poor Q1 results for 'transitional' 2016


Despite making a number of positive moves to redefine itself as a park that cares and one that wants to create memorable experiences, SeaWorld suffered a disappointing first quarter, with CEO Joel Manby saying he expects the trend to continue through the year.
Former SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison leaves company in board shakeup


SeaWorld Entertainment has announced the departure of former CEO Jim Atchison from the company’s board, also appointing two veteran theme park industry executives – Ron Bension and Donald Robinson – to roles at the head of the company.
SeaWorld creative added to ethics panel for TEA Summit


Anthony Esparza, chief creative officer (CCO) at SeaWorld, has been added to the lineup for the TEA’s annual summit next week.
MORE NEWS
“We finally have a space worthy of our collection”: V&A launches huge new Photography Centre
Coronation Street experience gets investment ahead of reopening
The popular Coronation Street Tour in Manchester, UK, has been expanded into a brand new visitor attraction that will open to the public next month.
NWTO: Mountain tourism now accounts for up to 16 per cent of international tourist arrivals
Mountain tourism represents between nine and 16 per cent of all international tourist arrivals worldwide as people head for sport, health and wellbeing travel.
Vikings gather for TEA’s SATE Europe conference at Europa-Park
Therme Group planning flagship US facility in Washington DC
Global wellbeing organisation Therme Group US and Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser have signed a deal to work together toward identifying a site for a new Therme facility.
RWS reveals new name, creates a 'powerhouse team' with JRA, Ted and ARC
RWS Entertainment Group, based in New York City, has relaunched as RWS Global to create one 'powerhouse team'.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
Alterface

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

Holovis is a privately owned company established in 2004 by CEO Stuart Hetherington. [more...]
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
QubicaAMF UK

QubicaAMF is the largest and most innovative bowling equipment provider with 600 employees worldwi [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

How two water rides are creating refreshing adventures in Vietnam’s biggest theme park
Aiming to become a top entertainment destination in southern Vietnam for both domestic and international tourists, VinWonders Phú Quốc opened in 2021 as the biggest theme park in the country. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion - Testimonial Richard Needham - SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment
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:
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

24-26 Oct 2023

ASEAN Pool & Spa Expo

IMPACT Exhibition Centre, Thailand
24-27 Oct 2023

Synergy - The Retreat Show

Palmaïa, The House of Aia, Playacar, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2023

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS