Post-Pandemic Attractions: Transform or be Transformed
There is not going to be a “new normal” for the attractions industry, and whether that is good news or bad news depends on the attraction. The pandemic did not impede change but acted as an accelerator of transformation and proved that the idea of collective normalcy is not a reality.
Here are three key trends that the pandemic supercharged:
- The major theme park business model is changing. Some of the biggest attractions industry players had already quietly begun shifting their pricing model from mass-market, middle-class egalitarian pricing model toward a luxury pricing model before the pandemic, but this trend is gaining traction. This emerging model is one of premium access at increased profit margins with a third to half guest capacity. However, this presents the opportunity for other destinations, brands and media to fill a gap with new kinds of offerings.
- The home vs. destination dynamic is changing. Middle class consumers with less expendable income are going to get increasingly priced out of an entire category of destination participation. However, the accelerated convergence of media and digital platforms—together with home experiences offering enhanced interactivity, immersion, playability and personalization—will make virtual experiences an increasingly appealing and economically viable option.
- Even the nature of business risk is changing. Many attractions will mistake post-pandemic bumps in attendance as a validation of the old order rather than what it actually is—a temporary bump due to pent-up demand. While these attractions are focusing on play it safe—minimizing risk and maximizing short term profits—they are actually constraining their organization’s potential and creating a riskier future. No attraction will be able to afford creative stagnancy or complacency.
The attractions industry’s recovery story can—and should—be a story of true transformation. (Blooloop, 05.04.21)
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