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PW-JUL19-42-43-Industry influencer.qxp_Feature 15/07/2019 17:19 Page 43


Industry Influencer www.parkworld-online.com


just launched EAS but there was very little organisation there, we had a pencil, a piece of paper and just went at it. It was a lot of fun. We grew the membership and set the direction for IAAPA in Europe as we know it today.”. In 2010, during an IAAPA meeting in Gothenberg, Andreas happened to pick


up a local newspaper and see that Liseberg was advertising for a new CEO. “I guess life is very often like that, something crosses your path and things just happen…. I saw the advert and thought, ‘that’s quite interesting, but I’m Danish, I’m not going to get it.’ I put the newspaper in my bag and didn’t think any more about it. Then I came back to Gothenburg a few weeks later, found the newspaper and thought, maybe I should actually call them,and I did. So really, I got the job by coincidence, but it was good a good coincidence!” Liesberg was, says Andreas, “a well-run company and financially robust. At the


in the late 50’s Walt Disney said something very similar about Disneyland. I think it’s a fundamental part of the industry’s DNA too.” says Andreas. Walt Disney visited Tivoli four years before opening Disneyland in California


and is believed to have taken a lot of inspiration from it. Hans Christian Andersen too was among one of the first to visit, and Tivoli inspired him to write the fairy tale ‘The ‘Nightingale. That said, Tivoli itself was a copy. “In 1843 when Tivoli opened. many of the


pleasure parks in built up cities in Europe were closing down. There was one in Paris and another in Vauxhall, London. Tivoli was based on parks in some of these larger metropolitan areas in Europe, but they didn’t survive. So, it’s interesting how we get inspiration from each other,” says Andreas. Asked why Tivoli survived when others like it were closing down, Andreas points


to urban development and real estate prices. “If you have a very centrally located area within the city, in many cases it was probably just more profitable to use that space for something else. In Copenhagen that pressure didn’t really exist in the same way, so Tivoli survived.” I ask Andreas how Tivoli evolved during his time there and to what extent he


feels he feels might have influenced that. Known and respected within the industry for his team mentality he is, unsurprisingly, humble in his response: “Everything in the park is a team effort, so its difficult to say what finger prints I left on Tivoli. Certainly, in the eight years I was there we introduced Halloween, that was one of my projects and it was very successful so that’s something I’m quite proud of. We also built some very successful new rides and I’m very proud of the team that accomplished that. Generally speaking, I feel that we increased the quality of the product, but again I can’t say that it was me, we were a team of people achieving that together.”


Moving on In 2008 Andreas felt it was time for a change and left Tivoli, to set up IAAPA’s European office. “It might sound strange, but it was very entrepreneurial; we had


JULY 2019


same time, it was a company that had experienced very little change in almost 50 years; it had a very strong culture which in some respects was very positive but in others, could be quite challenging. My job was to be that change. So we implemented an aggressive investment programme; a re-positioning of the brand and made fundamental changes to the organisational structure.” During Andreas’ time at Liseberg, the park has indeed undergone major


changes, both physically and organisationally. Attractions like Helix and Valkyria have been built, the children’s area Rabbit Land has opened and the company’s largest expansion ever, Liseberg’s on-site hotel and indoor water park, is in the


starting blocks. “I’m very proud of the Liseberg that I leave, we’ve built great things and its


and it’s a very healthy company. I’m also super proud of the team I leave at Liseberg. It’s such a wonderful group of people, so professional and so talented; that’s not my achievement, but I’m very proud to have been part of that organisational journey.” Leaving Liesberg has clearly been a wrench, but it’s the right time to do so, says


Andreas. “I can honestly say I truly love that park. At the same time, I’ve been here nine years, I’m Danish and my family live in Copenhagen; it was time to go home.” The role, he says, is a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” While he won’t comment too much on his plans for Tivoli moving forward, he says that “when it comes to parks like Liseberg and Tivoli that have a very strong


cultural heritage, you have to be respectful. I’m approaching this task with quite a bit of respect; I do know the business model and I do know the company, but the Tivoli I left back in 2008 is very different to the Tivoli I will join this summer.” What Andreas does tell me is that he is passionate about sustainability – so


expect the drive for this to feature heavily in his plans. Looking after the environment and the industry is part and parcel of the job, he says, “after all we want the industry to be here in a few years’ time.” A former secretary of the Association of Danish Amusement Parks, Andreas


worked extensively with the various local industry associations and networks during his time at both Tivoli and Liseberg and has always been very involved with


IAAPA. He was chairman last year and has been on the board for many years. “I do care about a lot about the industry,” he tells me as our call comes to an end, “I love what we do and I want to make sure that we all strengthen each other”. And with that, he’s off to start his new role.


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