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Forget Leisure: Focus on the Experience Industry
The concept of a leisure industry is old-fashioned and Australia and New Zealand industry professionals should focus on being part of an "experience industry" according to UK industry academic Professor Chris Gratton.
A visiting Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney's School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism this week, Professor Gratton addressed an industry dinner, sharing his research about the Growth of the Experience Economy in Europe.
Professor Gratton suggested that more and more international operators are focusing on the experience of what they deliver and highlighted the importance of technology and "new ways of getting new experiences".
He also highlighted that the leisure/experience industry "is a huge economic sector in a developed economy", pointing out the importance of football (the English Premier League), the music industry and motor racing in generating export income for the British economy.
Professor Gratton, one of the pioneers of leisure, sport and recreation studies, is the Assistant Dean for Research and Business Development, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
An internationally renowned expert in Sport Economics and co-director of the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Gratton is a specialist in the economic analysis of the sport market and over recent years, under his direction, SIRC has developed a specific expertise in the analysis and evaluation of the staging of major events.
Professor Gratton's address on the changing nature of the leisure/experience industry comes at a time when the UTS School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism (one of Australia's pioneer leisure schools) is set to be merged within the University's Faculty of Business.
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