Insight Report: ASIA s Attraction and Theme Park Industry

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1 Insight Report: ASIA s Attraction and Theme Park Industry

2 Insight Report: ASIA s Attraction and Theme Park Industry Introduction Asia is often perceived as a region playing catch-up with the urbanised West, battling lower wages, longer working hours and less leisure time. However, while this rang true a decade ago, recent years have seen a significant development in the Asian market. The emergence of an affluent middle-class that is keen to enjoy its wealth has encouraged governments and international entertainment brands to invest heavily in Asia s leisure and attractions industry. While the global attractions industry is set to hit $31.8BN by 2017, the market in Asia specifically is anticipated to be the world s largest within the next fifteen years (according to Picsolve Market Study, October 2013). The evolution of the region is evident from Disney s recent $5.5 billion investment into a new park in Shanghai in 2016, with rumours that it could become Disney s most-visited park. The number of people frequenting theme parks in Asia expected to surpass those visiting American parks by 2020 but for this to become a reality, the region needs to satisfy guest demand with the latest innovations and boost luxurious spending habits within the flourishing economy. This report draws on commissioned research, along with twenty years of industry experience, to shed light on the habits and desires of this newly-established and highly profitable portion of the market. While Asia is renowned for its tourist appeal, park operators must ensure that future park attraction developments are aligned with the demands of local residents, as it is these people who will soon be amongst the wealthiest in the world. Methodology The following report uses research, collated by Norstat in May 2015, of 100 Hong Kong-based residents who have been to a theme park in Asia in the previous 12 months.

3 Part 1: The profit opportunity Spending trends The Asian attractions industry is fuelling domestic tourism, clearly visible from the Hong Kong citizens that are willing to spend up to 95 per person during a day out at a theme park. These citizens also prefer to travel in large groups a key trait of the Asian market which, alongside a large spend per head, brings significant profit opportunities for park operators. In contrast to other regions, those aged between years old would pay more for instant access to theme park photography. Furthermore, this generation is also driving the incorporation of Intellectual Property (IPs) within parks (50%), suggesting a trend that parents are happy to splash more cash on entertaining their children. With Hong Kong labelled as the fastest growing tech hub in Asia, it is unsurprising that nearly 50% of citizens are excited by the concept of virtual reality on rides. Asian amusementseekers are also keen on elaborate live entertainment with special effects and hightech and this is something parks can introduce to inject a unique element for local residents. Top Stats year olds are the biggest spenders and also have the highest disposable income overall Top reasons for guests to spend more money in Hong Kong: Fast passes on all rides (53%); branded IP rides or experiences (41%); and instant access to theme park photography from a mobile device (32%) 53% of men would spend more if virtual reality was incorporated into parks The Asian attractions industry is fortunate to welcome so many wealthy visitors but in order to increase footfall and spend per visitor, parks must fully understand their demographic. As the Asian market prefers to travel in groups, park operators should ensure that all in-park technologies cater for this trend. This is especially important in terms of photography, as guests will want high-quality, group photos to capture the memories of their day out together.

4 Insight Report: ASIA s Attraction and Theme Park Industry Part 2: Reasons to visit a theme park Top three reasons to visit a theme park (in order of preference) For a special occasion When crowds are less i.e. during public holidays or low season When it s hot and sunny With so many visitors heading to theme parks for celebrations, park operators must be ready to provide guests with something special either through immersive experiences or with the incorporation of the latest technology innovations, such as virtual reality. Theme parks are a common form of entertainment around the world but, interestingly, increased wealth and the ability to afford regular days out does not necessarily make it an everyday leisure activity for the Asian market. Instead, nearly 40% of Hong Kong-based citizens would only visit a theme park for a special occasion. With local residents willing to spend lavishly, park operators must ensure that every feature elevates the guest experience to the exhilarating and unforgettable. Although domestic tourism is currently dominating the market, Picsolve has noticed a recent influx of international tourists exploring Asia for leisure purposes. As the market expands, park operators need to refine their offerings fast and efficiently if they are to guarantee the allimportant guest satisfaction and maximise their profits.

5 Part 3: Capturing the memories Top Stats 64% of year olds prefer digital photography to print A third of year olds would be more likely to visit a theme park if they could download their images instantly 40% of guests want photography packages to be included within their entrance fee The importance of photography integrations in theme parks is highlighted by Toy Story Land in Hong Kong, which is one of many new Asian attractions that is proactively ensuring plenty of good photo opportunities within the site. Unlike other regions, it is an older generation that is driving the profit from digital photography within the attractions industry. Over a quarter of year olds are likely to spend more money at a theme park if they are offered a digital download code to access their images instantly on a mobile device. Interestingly in Asia and Hong Kong in particular, the decision to purchase print or digital photography is heavily dependent on the experience itself. For attractions that have a significant heritage attached to them or take guests on a meaningful journey, print photography, such as photo books, is a popular option. However for the thrilling one-off experiences, guests are more likely to demand instant access to their photos - typically because its more desirable to share cool images in real-time with their friends and family. This is an interest trend that park operators in Asia need to take into consideration when shaping their photography offering. To satisfy the growing demand for instant park photography, operators should expand their offering to include digital packages within ticket prices and encourage more people to purchase higher priced tickets, resulting in satisfied guests and increased profits.

6 Insight Report: ASIA s Attraction and Theme Park Industry Part 4: The demand for digital Top Stats 55% of year olds are very likely to share photos of their day out on social media Females are more likely than men to share their photos instantly Those aged are the most likely age group to share photos of a special occasion An incredible 96% of Hong Kong residents browse the internet and social networking sites on their smartphone every day the highest percentage across Asia. The strong usage level highlights how Hong Kong residents are digitally fluent and therefore park operators must ensure their guests demands for instant, shareable content are met. Although there still remains a market for print, the demand for instant images is already filtering into the older age groups and this will only expand to all age groups over the next few years. As such, we believe digital could overtake print in Asia as early as Visitors across all age groups in Hong Kong revealed they are most likely to share photos on social media when celebrating a special occasion. Given that this is also the most common reason to visit a theme park, it has never been more important for parks to enable instant access to images that can be easily downloaded and shared across social media. As such, parks must consider the various region-specific social platforms, such as Weibo and WeChat in Asia. Park operators need to ensure they accommodate for local differences to ensure widespread guest satisfaction. Park operators must replicate the digital lifestyles that people are already accustomed to. By integrating Wi-Fi and offering instant, downloadable digital content, parks will avoid guest frustration and expand their visitor base through both online and offline reviews.

7 Conclusion Asia s attractions industry is already booming, and as the middle-class continues to expand, local tourism will remain integral to its success. This is emphasised by the fact that in the past two years, theme park attendance in Asia has risen by 13%. However, although China alone spent nearly $24 billion on theme park construction in 2013, it is not just the relaxed development laws contributing to this thriving industry. Other regions are committing to the success of the Asian attractions market, with US theme park giants such as Disney, Universal Studios and Six Flags investing billions of dollars into new parks for the growing region. Luxurious capital and wealthy guests are also giving the Asian attractions industry a competitive edge in a noisy market. But in order to really capitalise on this, park operators must understand their visitors. The four topics covered in this guide pinpoint the spending habits, demands and desires of guests in Hong Kong and give an insight into how park operators can transform visitor wealth into sustainable park revenue. 5 Key Takeaways 1 Guests in Hong Kong are big spenders 4 choosing to spend almost 100 per person on a day out 2 3 The most popular reason to visit a theme park is for a special occasion - this is also when guests are most likely to share photos on social media Hong Kong guests are all about the here and now and incorporating fast passes on all rides will see them spend more at theme parks 5 The demand for instant is most evident with year olds, as they re more likely to visit an attraction if they can download their images immediately on mobile devices Guests want to experience the latest immersive technology, with over half of men willing to spend more if virtual reality was incorporated into parks The leading image capture partner for the leisure and entertainment industry To find out more, visit picsolve.biz Global Offices UK USA UAE HONG KONG

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