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PW MAY19 37 Guest Article.qxp_Layout 1 24/05/2019 15:41 Page 37


Guest Article www.parkworld-online.com


The proliferation of smartphones: an opportunity for the attractions market


Two-thirds of the world’s population are connected by mobile devices, and with smartphone cameras becoming more advanced through each generation it’s no surprise that one trillion photos are being captured every year on these devices. Chris Warhurst, CEO, Magic Memories reports


smartphone photography, as we are able to instantaneously share our experiences with friends and followers - whether we are relaxing on a sun lounger in the Bahamas, cruising on a boat in the Mediterranean or at the top of a mountain in South America. In fact, research has proven that over 350 million photos are being uploaded on social media sites each day. It’s therefore no surprise that the mobile device


T


could potentially be seen as a threat to many industries, especially the attractions industry. But while video may have killed the radio star, the ubiquity of the smartphone is in fact set to give the attractions sector a big boost. We recently conducted a survey to gain insights


into consumer attitudes towards capturing and sharing their experiences. The research, which polled 2,000 consumers across the UK, US and Australia, discovered that the ability to capture and share an experience via photo or video is almost as important as the experience itself. Our research also uncovered that 75%


per cent of respondents stated that it is important to take photos when visiting tourist attractions and theme parks, with nearly all


respondents (83%) stating that they showcase/share photos of memorable experiences on social media. Interestingly,


he use of social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook are playing a big part in the rise of


it’s not Gen Z and millennials taking all the photos. Eighty per-cent of those aged 35-44 years say taking photos of an experience is important and they are also the ones taking the most video. In order for the attractions industry to capitalise on this opportunity, it’s important to capture visitors


in special moments throughout the day and provide them with memorable content directly onto their mobile devices in a seamless, unique and exciting way. This is especially true for the more immersive,


experience-led attractions that are becoming more mainstream within attractions all over the world. An example of this is The Bear Grylls Adventure, which opened in October 2018 in the UK.


The attraction allows guests to take on some serious mental and physical challenges, including rock climbing, zip lining and indoor skydiving – experiences guests aren’t able to capture themselves. Another example of this is the Auckland Sky Tower in New Zealand, which is


But while video


may have killed the radio star, the ubiquity of the smartphone is in fact set to give the attractions sector a big boost.


capitalising on guest demand for unique image capture opportunities. The attraction offers thrill seekers the chance to get the perfect ‘extreme


selfie’ creating a very believable balancing act from a single platform high above Auckland City. The success across all visitor demographics has led the company to include more self-operated image capture solutions at other attractions to boost content creation. By taking images of visitors in the midst of their


adventure, attractions are able to offer highly desirable content that guests will be itching to get


hold of so they can boast about their unforgettable, extreme experience on social media. For too long image capture has been an adjunct


to the tourism industry, but with technology advancing at breakneck speed, it has now become intrinsic to the guest experience. By working with an image capture partner who really understands visitors’ needs, attractions can increase guest engagement, drive conversion and promote the fun of their attraction by creating unforgettable, personalised experiences and stories - ensuring guests leave with life long memories that they can share and cherish, immediately and into the future.


MAY 2019


37


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