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Front Gate www.parkworld-online.com


What have you learned from the pandemic and are there any silver linings? inassociationwith


Big Question


Sian Alcock, Alton Towers Resort, UK When the lockdown happened, we were forced to quickly adapt our online communication plans and


ensure we remained relevant. By launching #AltonTowersTogether we were able to reach out to our followers and tap into what they wanted early on, providing bespoke content that delivered their theme park fix at home. As a result, we were able to strengthen our online community and presence, which in turn kept our audience engaged throughout the temporary closure and generated a significant uplift in revenue from merchandise sales via our online shop. We also opted to support theme park influencers who rely on theme park access to create content for their channels, by collaborating with them during this difficult time. The temporary closure of theme parks


also led to Alton Towers Resort, in its 40th anniversary year, going back to its roots by opening our listed gardens for members of the public to enjoy. Something we haven’t done since becoming a theme park in the 1980’s and which received overwhelming support from the public.


Jack Morey, Morey’s Piers, US We and many others in our industry are simply trying to survive, and get to 2021. Having said that, I cannot help but to learn from this and look for


some silver lining. They say, ‘Never let a crisis go to waste.’ Well, I couldn’t agree more. In reinventing our piers and waterparks


I can envision the following, more space, more shade, more seating for family pods, more human entertainment, more greenery, and more flowers. I would like to see less dirty money and more touchless ticketing, less lines, and less congestion. Change is what this business is all about,


so we need to embrace the opportunities and create the new norm, whether it be just a new norm for now or the new norm for the future. The principles of gatherings remain the same – togetherness, escapism, entertainment, and relaxation. Perhaps there will be a little more relaxation in the future.


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Iliana Rodriguez, Grupo Xcaret, Mexico One of the main lessons from the pandemic is that a worldwide problem requires global collaboration to be


solved. We learned this while working on our reopening safety protocols with parks from all over the planet. The strength in our 360° Xafety plan comes from brainstorming, collaborating, and listening to, not only our own experts, but knowledgeable people from around the world. The silver lining, is that temporarily closing down gave us a chance to stop and reexamine our plans for the future, make sure they are aligned with our values and move forward with the certainty that we remain true to ourselves, providing the unparalleled Xcaret experiences that highlight the best of Mexico.


Peggy Verelst, Bobbejaanland, France One of the more important safety measurements to reduce the COVID risk, is to limit the number of visitors per day.


Ticket sales at the cash register are reduced to a minimum; visitors therefore need to buy a ticket online and make a reservation on a specific day using the new platform we created. As a consequence, we need less staffing at


the cash register, our on line sales boosted and last but not least, our operational team to be perfectly informed about visitor attendance day by day to organise and manage the park in terms of catering supply, point of sale and staffing. Despite the pandemic and additional rules,


we notice every day a lot of fun amongst our guests, a great willingness to follow the rules and enjoy every single minute of the day.


Tina Resch, Liseberg, Sweden Outstanding team work. I have learned that our teamwork is also outstanding during tough times. When it’s hard, we support each other, roll up the


sleeves and try to find solutions. But it’s sad that we couldn’t show our guest this fighting spirit - the Swedish parks were not allowed to open this summer.


Patricia Velasco, Kidzania We need to remember the lessons we’ve learned over the past few months and not to take anything for granted. We are expecting challenging times


with a gradual recovery in attendance and revenue. However, safety and security need to keep as our utmost priorities. Unprecedented times like this have taught


us valuable lessons and have reminded us about the important role of unseen and unsung heroes in our communities. While we navigate through this “new


normal”, KidZania will be committed to becoming a channel to address the societal challenges posed by COVID-19 and offer children the opportunity to celebrate true heroes and learn about their great contributions in an experiential and fun way. Now, more than ever, KidZania reinforces


its commitment to inspire children to get ready to create a better world.


Dave Storm, Slagharen Theme Park and Resort, Netherlands Flexibility got us through the pandemic. At Slagharen it felt like we could not bring a


smile and laughter to people’s faces anymore since we had to postpone the opening of the park and in the meantime, we needed to make sure that we survived as a company. Slagharen is still traditional when it comes to working from home and therefore, we needed to convert the business from office to home office in a week and our IT department really performed magic! But also, the other departments accelerated and we all had to run our business remotely. What we really learned from the pandemic is that despite the world around you, you are responsible to care, act and operate to maintain a safe and pleasant environment. Together as a team we tweak and adjust our park on a daily basis to commit to the daily changing world. And to be honest, we are really proud of how we do it!


SUMMER 2020


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