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Pre-AAE activity

Those with time to kill before Asian Attractions Expo and a thirst for knowledge have several attractions industry-related events at their disposal. The most opportunistic of these is surelyl the one-day conference being held by the website Blooloop on June 15 at Hong Kong's Rennaisance Hotel. The speaker programme includes contributions from Matthew Priddy of Dubai Parks & Resorts, Ripley Entertainments’ Jim Pattison, Darren McLean of Movie Animation Park Studios in Malaysia, Keith James from JRA, Clement Schwebig of Turner Broadcasting Asia and Jason Todd, spearheading Asian operations for the Australian park operator Village Roadshow. The week before AAE in Shenzhen, the first city in mainland China after Hong Kong, the 4th Theme Park & Resorts Asia Congress (oppland.corp/themepark) takes place on June 11 and 12. Those flying out to Asia via the Middle East may choose to stop over for a few days in the UAE, where the first ever Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Summit ( runs from June 7 to 10. Based at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the event promises two days of education sessions followed by site tours. Local attractions Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld feature heavily throughout.

Hong Kong calling

AAE returns! After last summer's sojourn to Beijing, IAAPA is bringing Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) back in Hong Kong next month, with its first event in the much-loved metropolis since 2012


he trade show itself is a three-day affair (June 17 to 19), but sign up for all the tours, networking opportunities and education sessions and you could

enjoy a full week of events. Recognised as the premier event for the global attractions

industry in the Asia-Pacific region, AAE 2015 is expected to draw more than 7,000 professionals from 65 countries. The 8,500-net-square-metre trade show floor at the harbour front Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre will be home for the week to over 300 exhibitors. Kicking off ahead of the show on Sunday June 14, the

three-day IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers offers a blend of classroom instruction, case study and field work designed for industry professionals with at least three years’ management experience and the potential to join a senior management team. Meanwhile at the IAAPA Safety Institute on June 16, industry experts from around the globe will share insights and best practices in safety operations during this full-day institute programme. Confirmed as keynote speaker at the Leadership

Breakfast on Thursday morning (June 18) is Six Flags chairman, president and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson. Not an obvious choice you might be thinking, but of course the North American park chain recently outlined an international expansion strategy that calls for the building of Six Flags- branded theme parks in China and the Middle East. It will

See Chimelong Ocean Kingdom on the AAE post-tour

be interesting to hear what it is in store, or at least what Reid-Anderson is prepared to share. The general education programme at AAE, which is included with an Expo badge, comprises eight sessions covering attractions management, safety, business, social responsibility, marketing, technology, human resources and new developments in Asia. Sessions will be presented with simultaneous translations in both Chinese and English. See the full schedule at expo/education. Of course there's only so long you can sit in a conference

room and listen to people talk about attractions. The extended AAE programme also offers the opportunity to visit some of the finest theme parks and attractions in Hong Kong and beyond. After a nice gathering at Ocean Park back in 2012, the Opening Night Event (Wednesday) calls in this time on Hong Kong Disneyland, where attendees will mix, mingle and also get the chance to try out Hong Kong-only Disney attractions such as Mystic Manor and Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, together with the Disney Paint the Night parade which debuted just last October. The following evening, the Young Professionals

Forumwill allow attendees to make new connections, share work experiences, receive tips for career advancement and take a guided tour of the excellent Ocean Park. But don't worry if your'e too old to attend the Forum, there will also be a Facility Tour of Ocean Park on Friday evening, immediately after the show closes. Fancy stopping on for a few days and checking out one of

the freshest new theme park resorts in China's Pearl River Delta? Then book yourself onto the Post Tour to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, June 21/22. This ambitious resort from the Guangzhou-based Chimelong Group includes the world's largest aquarium, several superlative thrill rides, an international circus and the “Glamourous Sky Over Ocean” multimedia, stunt and pyrotechnic spectacular. Located in Zhuhai, just beyond Macau, Henqin Island enjoys similar special economic region status at Hong Kong, which it will eventually be linked to via a 35km-long bridge, and as participants will learn, Ocean Kingdom is just the start of it all. For travel advice, registration and fees for the various AAE

Six Flags’ Jim Reid-Andersen will address the AAE Leadership Breakfast


events, see expo/registration-travel.

MAY 2015

The striking host venue

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