The Hidden Opportunity That Exists if You Want to Build a Business around Theme Parks Concept of amusement parks has seen drastic growth in India in past two decades, with dawn of globalisation and boost in the rising disposable income for consumers

By Dhimant Bakshi

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There is a primary difference between a theme park and an amusement park. While amusement parks are a place of entertaining rides and attractions, a theme park comprises elements which are designed around a unified 'theme'. The concept of theme park and amusement parks has seen drastic growth in India only in the past two decades, with dawn of globalisation and boost in the rising disposable income for consumers. Globally, in the year gone by, Asia's attendance in theme parks swelled by 5.5%, which was majorly contributed by recently launched Shanghai Disneyland.

The Ecosystem of the industry

According to recent reports, the industry has seen a CAGR of more than 17.5 per cent with annual revenue of approximately INR 17 billion. The industry also pools in employment for thousands of people. The Indian amusement and theme park industry has brought in employment for more than 75,000 people.

Contribution to the local economy

Increase in number of parks has an obvious benefit to the locals. Apart from the noticeable increase in employment, there is development with respect to infrastructure of the locality. The quality of employment, including the various services related trainings are also helping level up livelihood. Having stated that, these parks are also creating broad customer base for other business, such as retail, restaurants, transportation and more.

Theme Park and Amusement Park industry play a major role in tourism boost in the area as well. This has been identified internationally, wherein theme parks enjoy strong regulatory support, with governments putting up dedicated infrastructure for connectivity, equity and tax subsidies. Most enjoy single-digit taxation. This in turn helps the industry to develop its potential to enhance the consumer experiences for even better output. While in India, the industry is still at a nascent stage, it is reeling under tax pressure with 18% tax applicable.

Industry Survey Report

As per a recent internal research on the industry ,the findings indicated that there is huge growth potential as well as headroom for growth for the theme park industry in India. The survey titled 'Understanding Consumer's Leisure Behaviour' introduced us to new growth triggers. The key objective behind undertaking the survey was to understand consumer perception towards entertainment options as well as the experiences of visiting an amusement park. The survey tried to gain perspective on the consumer lifestyle, how new-age consumers perceive digital experience using various products and service and consumer behaviour towards holiday planning.

Our survey has thrown some interesting and actionable insights on the target group's leisure behaviour. We found that the 40-45% of the internet consumption is aimed at shopping or booking and 44% is aimed at financial transactions. Another point of interest is that 71% of social media is on smartphones.

People living in Mumbai and Pune behave differently in their weekend activity preferences (mainly because Mumbai being time-crunched and Pune being a relaxed city), though 'Watching Movies' tops both their list.

Theme park visits are most preferred over others such as outdoor activities, both in Mumbai (12%) and Pune (25%). Even parents with children of 3-10 years of age are more inclined towards planning theme park visit or even a one day/overnight trip. When it comes to holiday planning, 85% of respondents consider friends and family recommendations as the most important factor to decide. Social Media, whereas, plays a vital role for Yanks (52%).

The key drivers for the theme and amusement parks are entertainment option(36%), ease of access (35%), variety of quality foods and drinks (18%), indoor attractions (17%), etc. And, theme and amusement parks score over other entertainment avenues by offering fun activities for the entire family, thrill and excitement and engagement activities for kids.

The most encouraging aspect of the survey is that 70% of the audience agree that Theme/Amusement parks successfully deliver on the key attributes of entertainment.

There is much more hope from the industry. The Indian theme park and amusement park sector sees a strong potential in growing as a sector, that contributes significantly to local economy as well as tourism while giving new avenues of entertainment of International standards to Indians right here in India. With significant regulatory support to attain this potential, tomorrow definitely seems a better day for the industry.

Dhimant Bakshi

Joint Chief Executive Officer, Adlabs Imagica

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