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Park Update www.parkworld-online.com


of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, National Health Commission and related departments, and local government. We also observed and evaluated the effectiveness of policies and procedures put in place by other parks and cultural attractions in China and abroad that re-opened prior to Lionsgate Entertainment World.” As an indoor theme park, I ask if Lionsgate


Entertainment World faced a different set of challenges to outdoor theme parks in China when preparing to re-open? “While many of the challenges are the same, real-time monitoring and control of guest flow to avoid crowding and congestion is particularly important in an indoor park. Thankfully, Lionsgate Entertainment World’s multi-level layout and circulation enables an effective spread and spacing of guests,” says Jenefer. I’m keen to find out whether the safety measures


are working and what the challenges might be going forward. “We safely opened the week of Dragon Boat Festival, an incredibly busy holiday period, maintaining order and a high cleaning and disinfection standard of “one guest, one disinfection” of all attractions, restaurants, stores, and public spaces while ensuring our guests still had an enjoyable, seamless experience,” says Jenefer. “Going forward, the real challenge is the unknown, we know that guests will still seek out the thrills and adventure Lionsgate Entertainment World offers but we don’t know how guest behavior will need to continue to evolve or change. Accordingly, we must be ready to adapt and act quickly to address these needs.” I ask Jenefer if the various changes to visitor flow


and activity in park impacted on the guest experience? Not so, she says. “Aside from minimum spacing requirements in the queue and ensuring face masks are worn by guests at all times, much of the Lionsgate Entertainment World guest experience remains unchanged. Many of our attractions and experiences, particularly those that feature VR or necessitate guests suiting up, required disinfection previously. And some of our attractions are purposefully designed to be lower throughput, requiring guests to wait to participate in smaller pulsed groups to customise the experience. It is really only behind the scenes that you see the real impact of the changes, as our operations team must remain focused and flexible to respond to guest activity. The park stayed open later than anticipated on several evenings this past week to ensure we cleared the queues and delivered on the guest experience.” What about guest behaviour, to what extent has


this changed amid the ‘new normal’? “In China, many of the processes and procedures implemented at Lionsgate Entertainment World (like temperature checks and wearing masks) are more commonplace than in other parts of the world; in our first week, we have not seen any indication of diminished enthusiasm for entertainment experiences. Guests appear eager to visit and fully participate and the park feels bustling in a safe and orderly way.”


 Asked how important was it that despite the delay, Lionsgate Entertainment World continued to market the 2020 season, Jenefer says: “It certainly makes sense from a business revenue perspective. That’s


SUMMER 2020 37


pretty straightforward. It’s a bit more complex vis a vis our guests. First and foremost, safety is our utmost concern. Secondly, but importantly, we’re in the entertainment business and we recognise everyone’s need for diversion and a return to normalcy.” The park is currently operating at 50 percent capacity.


Commenting on how the loss in revenue might impact the business model, Jenefer is cautiously optimistic: “Short-term it’s pretty fundamental:


less revenue.


Long-term? Assuming we’re open at full capacity in the not-so-distant future, we’ll be fine. Once the industry is able to re-open and attendance limits become less restrictive, the more robust players should be on a reasonable recovery track. “In 2020, at this moment, we’re simply happy to be


able to be open while recognising the delicateness of the world situation. Genuinely, we’re finding our guests are happy to return to an environment that transports them from real world challenges. Naturally, our VR and media-based attractions are among the most popular areas in the park at this time. “China continues to have a tremendous thirst for


wildly popular motion picture and television brands and first of their kind innovative experiences. Our goal is to imagine and present our properties in the most engaging and compelling way, combining state-of- the-art technology and emerging trends in entertainment to help us deliver authentic guest experiences in alignment with these guest expectations.” Particularly as this year has been such a difficult one


for the industry, I ask Jenefer if Lionsgate Entertainment World is is already looking forward to and planning for 2021 and beyond? “Yes. We’ve had various plans to continue to extend the Lionsgate brand and our film and television properties in live, interactive, and location-based entertainment on the drawing boards for years. We are watching what’s happening in our various markets closely and will be announcing and executing on new projects when appropriate,” she says. Watch this space…. 


Genuinely,


      


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