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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.”
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
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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Holovis is a privately owned company established in 2004 by CEO Stuart Hetherington. [more...]
Painting With Light

By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
DJW

David & Lynn Willrich started the Company over thirty years ago, from the Audio Visual Department [more...]
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The company was initially established in 1997. Terry Monkton and Andrew Roberts are the key stakeh [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, using the art of light architecture. [more...]
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Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems - Experience the experience
Have you ever wondered how the fun is created? Polin Waterparks is a global market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of waterparks and water play attractions. Find out more...
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Introducing AnimaChat! – Animalive
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

08 Oct 2020

VAC 2020 VIRTUAL (The Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions)

Online, United Kingdom
17-23 Oct 2020

World Leisure Congress 2020

Pinggu, Beijing, China
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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