During the 2020s, the number of amusement park visitors, globally, dropped from 50% to 90%. The extent of this change depends on the level of restrictions imposed by each conutry and the type of park. In fact, for example, in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) area, the losses amounted to around 60%, while in the American continent, whose parks are mainly frequented by foreign tourists, the loss reached around 75%. Chinese parks belonging to the OCT and FantaWild groups, on the other hand, were less affected by the pandemic. By focusing primarily on local customers, these parks limited their losses, with an average drop of 20% in ticket sales.
Amusement parks, TEA research
According to research conducted by TEA(Themed Entertainment Association)/AECOM and published in the Theme Parks and Museum Index 2020 Report, sales during negative events such as terrorist acts, economic crises, pandemics or general social unrest have a comparable cyclical pattern. In particular, if we have to identify trends, the first year tends to be characterized by a strong drop in admissions, while in the following three years there is a gradual recovery. In the specific case in which we find ourselves, 2020 is the year in which the most evident drop in sales is reached, from 2021 until 2023 a gradual recovery is expected (and the data to date for 2021 confirm this), and from 2024 we should return to pre-pandemic levels. This means that it can be reasonable to think that between 2023 and 2024 there will be a return to full operation and attendance, and it is also correct to assume that precisely in this time horizon the parks that are planning investments will see the benefits and will be able to meet the new expectations of the public.
Amusement parks, readjusting strategy to the new conditions
One of the consequences of the pandemic on amusement parks concerns the technological evolution of supply and demand. On the demand side, lockdown periods have encouraged the development of virtual experiences and activities to replace physical ones. While this trend is expected to abate with the return to normalcy, it is also true that it will remain a viable alternative in many areas.
From the point of view of the offer and management of amusement parks, it has been necessary to equip themselves with tools that can easily adapt to the new needs. Among the areas most impacted by the digital evolution is pricing management. Providing a price that can maximize revenues with a reduced number of opening days or a quota of admissions has become a widespread need in the sector.
Amusement Parks, Pricing and Artificial Intelligence
In this case, artificial intelligence is the tool that best meets this need, offering the possibility of considering multiple factors together, attributing a specific weight to each of them and adapting the output to the evolution of the trend almost in real-time.
So, even in this economic situation, pricing has proved to be the lever capable of maximizing profits more quickly and consistently. Making the most of the available data to extract as much information as possible to optimize business goals. In Italy some of the major parks such as Acquario di Genova and Zoomarine, have chosen to rely on the dynamic ticket pricing system developed by Premoneo.
The use of an innovative pricing strategy following a particularly negative event, such as a pandemic, is certainly one of the fastest and most effective ways of trying to compensate for the losses incurred and trying to get the most out of the business performance shortly.