The World Waterpark Association is often asked by media and others about how the industry is faring in any given year. As you’d expect, the answer varies a bit each year depending on factors that are outside the control of most operators, including weather and economic downturns.
In general, 2017 was considered a tough weather year for large swathes of our global industry, however many signs indicate that 2018 has been considerably better in many regions of the world. While not every park in every region experienced perfect weather every day, the weather was generally more consistent and allowed operators to string more good days together.
Some areas such as European markets are benefitting from an increase in “tourism from within the EU that seems to have returned to affordable European destinations,” according to the 2017 TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report.
Another contributing factor to how the industry is doing this year: many operators used the offseason to brainstorm some new, innovative ways to market and promote their attractions. As the proverb says, “necessity is the mother of invention”. The weather challenges of 2017 galvanised many in the water leisure industry to think creatively about how to be more reactive to good and bad weather days.
Whether it was dynamic pricing strategies or launching new in-park promotions and events to boost attendance, waterpark operators have been actively trying new things in 2018 and seeing positive results.
Aleatha Ezra, director of park member development, WWA