Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

What, if any, inducements/promotions are you offering to guests this season to beat the economic downturn?

Carin van Berkel, Efteling, Holland (pictured): Of course it is difficult to predict the future, but in the past our park hardly suffered during economic downturns. Efteling offers distraction and that it what people seek in these difficult times. The park opens again at the beginning of April and this year Cinderella is a new inhabitant of the Fairy Tale Forest. Just before the summer period we will introduce an extraordinary marketing campaign, the main purpose of which will be to improve the brand awareness and likeability of Efteling. The visitor numbers during the 2008 season and the Winter Efteling were fine. Therefore we do not expect any negative effects in 2009, and we do not offer visitors any special inducements.

Barbara Joines, Dollywood, USA: 2009 may be a challenging year, but Dollywood is helping consumers with a series of promotions. Of course, our season pass is the best value for families if they plan to spend several days at Dollywood throughout the year, and costs less than two one-day admissions. We have a programme called “After Three, Next Day Free” that provides families a chance to checkout the park, ride a few rides or see a show and then plan their next day without having to pay for two days. We also have a ticket that is sold only via our hotel partners. It’s called “Play Another Day” and is two days for the price of one. We realise this year may be tough, but Dollywood has always been great value for families. In times like these, there is no more important thing than doing things together as a family.

Wouter Dekkers, Movie Park, Germany: If the attendance really sinks, then we are prepared to use price as a strategy, but after the improvements we have made to our product in recent years we also feel a bit “cocky” and hope we can move away from this sort of discounting. What we may do is look at specific markets. One of our target audiences this season will be the country of Belgium and if you go after a new market you need to offer some sort of inducement to encourage them to discover the great park we have.

Jason Dobbins, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, USA:
We are running a promotion called “What Will You Celebrate?” where our guests can enter the park free on their birthday, to celebrate with friends and family. It’s the first time we’ve ever done this at Disney, and it’s our way of providing a little magic to help celebrate these momentous occasions.

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