IAAPA sees fastest growth in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific is IAAPA’s fastest growing region and the international association for amusement parks and attractions says the adoption of technology is reaping results for its members.

According to Jakob Wahl, president and CEO, technology is “making a huge change”, where more visitors are pre-booking, members are capping capacity numbers, yet the “new pricing strategy” is resulting in people spending more money.

IAAPA’s Joey Zhang, June Ko, and Jakob Wahl (Photo: Caroline Boey)

The region, which has more than 700 members, is also adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance visitor experience and Universal Studios Japan is the first theme park to offer an augmented reality (AR) ride.

Joey Zhang, senior director, China office, added that new park and attraction designs were incorporating elements which address climate change and unusual weather conditions to improve the visitor experience.

Meanwhile, June Ko, executive director and vice president, IAAPA Asia-Pacific, shared that the association was looking at investment opportunities “with government support”.

Ko noted Singapore was “ahead of the game” for its easy-to-invest and “secure” investment environment and Wahl was scheduled to meet Sentosa Development Corporation and the Singapore Tourism Board.

Wahl said the “right infrastructure” and “airline capacity” were key considerations for investments and IAAPA’s expansion was important because members contribute to the economy of a country.

Zhang commented that members in China were tapping more business events, citing the example of multinational professional services company Deloitte hosting a meeting for 5,000 employees at Disney Shanghai.

Similarly, Universal Studios Beijing was eyeing more corporate events, and Ko noted business events were also picking up in India.

She reported the rate of growth of Asian members this year exceeded the target by 100 per cent.

Wahl observed: “Our Singapore show will serve as a marker in our industry as we continue regional recovery efforts and is our new baseline for how we grow in the future.”