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INDIA Steve Peet


Managing director, Steve Peet Consultants


T India has 140 parks and attractions Yogesh Dange 2nd vice president IAAPI T


he Indian amusement industry has matured over the years and with the per capita income increasing several


fold in the last decade, I think we can expect many more operators, including Disney and Universal, to invest in India. The government has been encouraging


tourism in a big way and is also recognising the ability of the amusement and theme park industry to generate improved tourism and employment opportunities. With around 140 parks and attractions in


India to date, and many FECs, we expect the next phase of expansion to come from tier-two cities like Pune and Jaipur because the cost of land in and around large cities has become


48 Attractions Handbook 2011-2012


he Indian attractions industry is on the verge of its next stage of growth. There are a number of well-established amuse-


ment parks, waterparks and FECs operating successfully across the country, but now’s the time for the Indian industry to decide whether there’s potential to increase the number, size and sophistication of its product. There are barriers to entry for potential


operators. Land's expensive, the approval process is a nightmare, the market's relatively uneducated for immersive experiences and alternatives for time and spend are modest.


One of the major issues in India is the lack


of public infrastructure to support develop- ment. Air travel is abundant, but the lack of decent arterial and connecting roads and reliable and high-capacity rail networks to move large volumes of people from the transport hubs to the attraction are a major issue. Indian governments at all levels really need to decide whether this industry has the potential to provide economic benefi t to the country and assist operators by establishing the “connective tissue” that will support the life of any attraction in the long term. Aside from these barriers to entry, the


industry is unlikely to attract institutional in- vestment from structured capital markets. The entrepreneurial spirit is abundant in India, but with restricted access to international capital, the result is an industry made up of primarily


The Indian government is recognising the ability of the amusement industry to generate improved tourism and employment opportunities


very expensive. The government needs to cre- ate a land bank for large operators to invest in India, as the tourism infrastructure needs huge tracts of land for development. It is estimated that by 2020, the average


Indian will be 29 years old. This entails the creation of a large workforce, so at present the amusement industry in India isn’t facing any problem with regard to manpower, but the situation could change with the growth. It also creates opportunities in terms of subsequent spin offs for economic growth and prosperity. This, in turn, will aid the growth of the Indian amusement parks industry in the future. However, there’s a need for the amusement industry in India to build integrated entertain-


ment destinations with facilities such as amusement attractions, hotels, convention centres, exhibition centres and malls. Indian amusement parks need to look for joint ven- tures or partnerships with established players in the international market to explore this enormous opportunity. I don’t foresee any major barrier for overseas operators starting a venture in India. The Indian economy is growing at between


8.5 per cent and nine per cent per annum. It’s only a matter of time before established players recognise the opportunity to invest in our attractions industry. Dange is 2nd vice president of IAAPI and director of GRS Fantasy Park.


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