BALPPA – The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions – has predicted a busy start to the main 2018 season. Significant investment, a rise in staycations and the continued growth in inbound tourism are set to provide a major boost for UK attractions.
The launch of significant new rides, innovative features and exciting events, combined with the continued relative weakness of the Sterling and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, is likely to encourage international visits and more Britons opting to holiday at home.
The UK experienced an overall increase in international visitors in 2017 according to Government data. Total inbound tourism increased 6.6%, and though domestic visitation to London was affected by security concerns, holidaymakers enjoyed leisure time elsewhere in the UK.
VisitBritain has predicted inbound tourism to increase in 2018, exceeding already record-breaking levels at a modest rate. As a result of investments totalling well in excess of £50, the UK will be able to offer theme parks, family entertainment centres, local attractions, zoos, and piers to international visitors and domestic tourists.
“Major investment across the industry means there’s lots of great new attractions on offer throughout the UK,” said Paul Kelly, chief executive of BALPPA. “Shared experiences with friends or family are also becoming ever more important in today’s busy world. A visit to a UK attraction not only creates the opportunity to spend time together, but represents great value for money compared to many other activities.”
2018 will see UK theme parks launch a number of new rides and accommodation options
- Alton Tower’s Wicker Man, a wooden rollercoaster combining fire and special effects, will open to the public in March
- Visitors to the north west can ride Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new double-launch rollercoaster, Icon
- Merlin’s new concept The Bear Grylls Adventure, housed at Birmingham’s NEC, pits visitors against their fears in adventure activities
- Chessington World of Adventures has welcomed four Amur tigers to its enlarged enclosure, Land of the Tiger
- Crealy Adventure Park& Resort in Devon is investing significantly in new accommodation types; the Pre-Pitched Tourers and Beach House Lodges, a new Clubhouse, and an all-new entertainment offering.
- Paultons Park, based in Hampshire, is launching two new rides at Peppa Pig World. The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride and Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club will be unveiled to the public on May 16, 2018.