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As 2020 continues to bring new challenges for the theme park and attractions industry, it’s time to focus on a realistic view of the industry and what lies ahead.
The ripple effects of COVID-19 are still being felt, and many of our attractions have reopened as many other leisure and entertainment activities remain closed to customers. Let’s be clear: the pandemic has hit our industry hard. Traditional park openings were postponed no less than three months, and consumer confidence remains at an all-time low.
Some visitors fear the virus and choose to stay home, and others are choosing to venture out, sometimes bypassing the rules and regulations set in place by governments and parks, themselves. With a second wave of COVID-19 cases now approaching new peaks, 2020 will be in no way a traditional theme park season.
But, as there is in any situation, there is an opportunity to leverage the insights we’ve gained and innovation we’ve seen to get our industry back on track.
Let’s shine a light on the top lessons that were (re-)confirmed during this pandemic with an optimistic eye on the future of our industry.
Many questions arise when we think about the future of leisure, tourism and travelling, including:
The final impact of the crisis is still to be determined, but new patterns have started to make themselves apparent that could provide the answers to these key questions.
Once the threat recedes, travel and overall demand should return. Here are some things you, as a leisure operator, can take into account to ensure you take advantage:
While some players in the travel ecosystem will be able to adapt to the new circumstances and recover rather fast, others face slow reopenings and depressed rates after the boom that preceded the pandemic.
Much has been said about the future of the theme park and themed entertainment industry after the COVID-19 pandemic, with thought leaders across the industry weighing in on informal forums like the Season Pass Podcast. There are many ways to keep you and your colleagues inspired.
Overall, one forecast seems clear – if parks that have already seen significant data after reopening and leading market research are any indication, the theme park and themed entertainment industry will recover from this global disruption.
Now, it’s up to decision-makers like you to empower your park for full-speed-ahead recovery.
Have you identified any further potential changes to the ways we will travel and consume leisure in both the immediate and long-term future? What other lessons or knowledge have you either learned or seen reconfirmed during this time?
Share your insights with us – we would love to hear from you work together to address your unique challenges and goals for the post-COVID era of theme parks and themed entertainment.
Bryan Hinckley, Electrosonic’s Global Vice President of Immersive Experiences, builds on 20+ years’ experience creating memorable experiences through innovative technology. He writes with an expert eye on the continuing importance of focusing on the story, guest experience and quality of customer service, regardless of technology changes.