Ticketing & Capacity Management – Part 1

a shopping district, so even at a limited capacity it can absorb a ton of people. And then you look at some of the factors – Orlando generally has a large number of British tourists, but right now, they’re not crossing the pond; Orlando generally has lots of visitors from the north east, but if they come now, they have to quarantine in Florida for two weeks, so right now they are not coming and what’s left is there is a pool of people coming to the park that has already been capacity managed. So, when you take that into account it’s like, we don’t have to do this, it’s not going to add any value. But Seaworld is probably a little bit different, certainly while international and domestic tourism is important for them, they are a much heavier ‘local’ park, there is a huge amount of investment in local visitation. They also have less parks and don’t have as much space to absorb these folks if they did show up at the same time, so they have a reservation system in place.” Picking up, Randy says: “The interesting aspect is,

I think the

current situation has forced operators re- think the things they previously thought  getting people to pre-plan and the  would require for them to do that.

have found it’s not that big a barrier for guests to plan an attraction visit. That said, if you give people a time block between say 9am and 12pm, everyone shows up at 9am, so what it caused these attractions to do, is re-think this. “

Timed ticketing & capacity management Matthew continues: “I think some of the learning process that some attractions have gone through and what attractions of certain sizes have arrived at is, ‘let’s give an entry time and have a specific quantity of tickets available at one of those’. On the flip side of that though, this is not necessarily something that all attractions have to do, I think a great example is Universal Orlando, they didn’t implement any timed ticketing or reservations and they re-opened their park. A big difference there however, is that they have a huge attraction, three theme parks and

because of those requirements, how are you going to move forward to bring these guests in - that’s why we are seeing a bigger move into the digital ticketing space, many places require reservation – but you don’t want a whole load of people turning up to make a reservation that defeats the whole purpose because of the physical distancing issue, but we are seeing that need for parks to shift their business strategy, ‘we’re going to have to sell tickets online and make reservations’. That’s why we are seeing that push to digital. The the reality is that parks and attractions right now need to be able to take care of their staff and you have to be able to physical distance staff as much as possible and really having on premise ticketing is an area where you are going to require a bit of close contact and so from a safety standpoint, we are starting to see everybody saying they want to avoid the on premise purchasing process; one for safety of guests, two, because reservations are required and the third element, and let’s be honest all of these attractions have been closed for months and that’s a considerable hit on their revenue. So we probably need to be mindful and be aware of the profitability of having less guests in the park; if we have 50 percent less guests we ought to try and reach our profitability numbers and that might mean 50 per cent less employees, its not obviously a one to one ratio there but there are areas to be mindful of and cut costs.” “One of the things the closure has done its forced

consumers to go somewhere where they can find out information,” says Matthew. In the past, we knew an attraction would be open and we could turn up at any time. The closure has pushed us toward more pre-arrival thinking says Matthew, “because they are going to have to have to first check if the attraction is open - they are going to the website, then because they are on the website they are seeing information about buying tickets online and how this enables you them to avoid a number of interactions that over the past few months they have been told are an area of concern. So, I think the current situation has forced operators re-think the things they previously thought were difficult, like getting people to pre-plan and the marketing effort it would require for them to do that. Of course, when attractions worldwide shut down, 100 percent of tickets needed to be refundable and we jumped on it straightaway to make sure our applications could do that.” As a result, he says, we are going to see a greater shift toward technology evolve and increased functionality

36 JUNE 2020

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