Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Two thirds of parents will avoid UK family attractions in 2021 if cost is too high

Families flocking to theme parks, museums, theatres, and historic venues this year have cited cost and Covid as the main factors that will influence their decision when planning an outing this summer.

In a survey carried out by KidRated, which lists the best family days out rated by kids and teens, one in four (39.82%) UK parents cited too many restrictions due to Covid as the single factor that would put them off visiting a family attraction and nearly two thirds (61.06%) said that cost was most likely to influence which venue they attended with their children.

The news follows repeated calls from tourism industry chiefs for an extra bank holiday at the end of September to thank NHS and key workers, and to help the sector get back on its feet including the head of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, Bernard Donoghue.

Simon London, CEO and founder of KidRated, said: “It’s been an immeasurably tough year for us all – businesses and families alike – but the 90% of parents who are planning a longed-for experience such as a theme park ride or gallery visit simply won’t part with their hard-earned cash if there are too many Covid restrictions, or if costs are too high.

“As the UK emerges from lockdown, family attractions must heed the concerns of parents or face even more hardship in the weeks and months ahead. What really matters is kids having fun after a long period of being cooped up at home, so ensuring a great variety of activities for kids of all ages, a smooth booking process, and of course appropriate safety measures is key.

“We also know that a whopping 93% of parents are more likely to visit an attraction that has been positively reviewed online, demonstrating how crucial customer engagement is when it comes to businesses’ bottom line.”

Parents also highlighted the ease of being able to visit venues in all weather conditions and options for dining as factors that would determine a visit to a family attraction, and said that non-refundable tickets would deter a trip. Venues being suitable for children with different needs and abilities also matters to parents.

Bernard Donoghue (left), director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, said: “Sanitise the site, not the experience – that’s the message we’re hearing loud and clear from parents, and woe betide any family attraction that doesn’t pay attention, because it’s absolutely crucial to the recovery of our industry.

“Value for money, volume of people, and visitor experience are the factors that matter in any year for tourism, but even more so in 2021 as we come out of lockdown.

“We’re calling for an extra bank holiday this year not just to thank our NHS and key workers for their superhuman efforts over the last year, but to get more footfall for venues and give the sector a boost.”

KidRated’s survey showed that regardless of age, parents had the same concerns and interests when it comes to visiting family attractions this year whether their children are toddlers, teenagers, or in between.

The site, co-founded by journalist and TV executive Simon London in 2014, has over 200 reviews of major family attractions in London and the South East, rated by kids and teens. Businesses can pay a subscription fee to be listed on the site, and secure promotion in KidRated’s social streams and outreach content which translates into traffic, and converts into sales.

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