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Asian theme parks lead global attractions industry growth
Theme parks in Asia led the growth in global attractions in 2015, with a nearly 7% rise in volume, according to the 2015 TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index.
Revealing a thriving global attractions industry, the annual Index noted attendance was up at top operators, top theme parks and top waterparks, led by Disney, Merlin, Universal, OCT Parks China and others
The 2015 Index showed attendance grew by over 5% at the top 25 theme parks in the world and over 7% for the top 10 theme park groups compared to the previous year, attendance at the top 20 waterparks grew by 4% while museum attendance held steady globally,
The attendance study, now in its 10th year, is created and distributed by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at AECOM.
Commenting on its findings, John Robinett, AECOM’s Senior Vice President, Economics, stated “the growth we’ve seen this year is tremendous for a relatively mature industry.
“Over our 10 years of tracking the industry, we have seen steady improvements in business volume (despite a global recession), the introduction of exciting new technologies and continued internationalisation of the attractions world.”
The study shows global theme park attendance in 2015 was driven largely by strong performance of the major Asian and US operators, including OCT Parks China, Chimelong, Fantawild, SongCheng, Disney and Universal.
While the museum market was largely stagnant, a few standouts showed double digit growth, including the Hermitage in Russia and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.
Key figures from the TEA/AECOM 2015 Theme Index and Museum Index:
• 420 million visits to attractions run by the top 10 global theme park groups, up 7.2%.
• 236 million visits to the top 25 amusement/theme parks worldwide, up 5.4%.
• 146 million visits to the top 20 amusement/theme parks in North America, up 5.9%.
• 131 million visits to the top 20 amusement/theme parks in Asia-Pacific, up 6.9%.
• 107 million visits to the top 20 museums worldwide, down 0.7%.
• 74 million visits to the top 20 museums in Europe, Middle East and Africa, down 1.7%.
• 61 million visits to the top 20 amusement/theme parks in Europe, Middle East and Africa, up 2.8%.
• 58 million visits to the top 20 museums in Asia-Pacific, down 0.4%.
• 58 million visits to the top 20 museums in North America, up 2.6%.
• 29 million visits to the top 20 water parks worldwide, up 3.7%.
The 2015 TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index includes special features on how the industry has changed over the past decade.
TEA International Board President Steve Birket of Birket Engineering added “with 10 years of data, the TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index reveals the true breadth, success and impact of the visitor attractions industry.
“As the nonprofit association for the creators of compelling places and experiences, TEA is honored to team with AECOM — a firm with great experience as a feasibility and economics consultant and a provider of design, build, finance and operational services to illuminate the trends and issues affecting our industry.”
Although primarily an online publication, the report is distributed in a limited print edition with Chinese translation, and will be available at the 2016 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Asian Attractions Expo being held in Shanghai from 13th to 16th June.
The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international, nonprofit membership association, founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, California USA. TEA represents some 10,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 1,250 firms in 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conference on Experience Design.
AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges.
Images: Austin Heights Waterpark in Johor, Malaysia (top) and Halloween at Ocean Park Hong Kong (below).
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