Takeaways from the 2018 IAAPA Attractions Expo

H&LA’s Joseph Pierce, MAI and Nuresh Maredia attended the IAAPA conference in Florida. Here are a few takeaways from the conference:

  • IAAPA introduced its new brand as the Global Association for the Attractions Industry.  The brand is intended to communicate the diversity of the attractions industry, its forward motion, connection and strength as an industry and the inspiration that happens when its members come together. The new brand will be accompanied by a new logo.
  • CEO’s spoke to the impact of the increases in minimum wage. Responding to the increase from $11.20 to $15 has meant a need to re-examine the processes and the allocation of labor. It has resulted in the cutting back on staff (largely part-time) and the closing of stations in slower periods. But they also stressed the need to respect and listen to the front line employees, managers and supervisors who quite often possess the cutting-edge ideas to benefit your park.
  • The Asia market looks to have the largest growth potential for theme park development. The North American market will also see growth in attendance but at a lower rate compared to Asia. China is expected to become the world’s largest theme park market by 2020 based on the overall number of visitors, surpassing the United States. According to AECOM, China’s park attendance increased 20% in 2017 vs 2016. The Chinese theme park market offers great potential for growth and investment.