How is the UK attractions sector responding to more informed consumers with changing expectations?
With 90% of adults under 35 using social media on a regular basis, the visitor experience is key. Technology permeates throughout all aspects of a visit ie before, during and afterwards. It can take many forms but whether it’s online booking facilities, wearable technology, cashless systems, queue busting technology, incorporation into the ride or experience itself (eg virtual reality), or even financial efficiencies from a business viewpoint, embracing technology across multiple aspects is critical to future success.
Successful attractions need to keep reinvesting to stay relevant. Creative industries are becoming a more important part of the supply chain and in the UK, the majority of the larger theme park and leisure parks now have some form of license agreement with major Intellectual Property providers (usually film or TV related). We are also seeing the development of new partnerships in order to penetrate different markets in a less capital intensive manner.
A key competitor for visitor attractions is in-home digital entertainment and gaming. However, this also offers an opportunity for attractions to provides distinctive, authentic and unique experiences that can’t be replicated elsewhere. As a result, we are seeing new products emerge from existing players, as well as a variety of new entrants who are often targeting specific segments of the market.