After last year’s excursion to the Benelux, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) held its annual Summer Conference outside London this year, from June 11 to 13.
Based for the three days in Cobham, Surrey, the 100-plus members who attended were well placed to visit a trio of attractions on the South West side of the capital, all of them now owned by Merlin Entertainments.
Proceedings began with a golf tournament on the first day, followed by an ice-breaker dinner in the evening. The second day included visits to member facilities Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park, where a Gala Dinner was held in the evening.
On the third day, members travelled to Legoland Windsor, where a tour of the park of the park preceded by a meeting attended by three guest speakers. Among them were George McGregor of political lobbying group Politics International, who gave an update on progress with various issues BALPPA has being trying to bring to politicians’ attention.
Ros Prtichard, chief executive of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, discussed new tourism planning policy guidance, while BALPPA member Angela Wright of Crealy Adventure Parks discussed green issues for parks.
Topics of concern raised by BALPPA chief executive Colin Dawson included health and safety, engineers’ training courses, the European Ride Safety Reporting System and Visitor Attractions Code of Practice.
The conference was generously supported by a number of sponsors including ABC Rides, APT Skidata, HB Leisure, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Picsolve, QBE Insurance and the Western Log Group.
Next year’s conference is already confirmed for June 16 to 18, 2008, when BALPPA members will visit one of the world’s top theme parks, Europa-Park, Germany, where IAAPA was given such a warm welcome when is staged its Summer Meeting in 2004.
Pictured here, John Davies, OmniTicket Network (far left); Terry Monkton, Simworx; and Nicola Masin, Zamperla, await a ride on Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park