Raffi Kaprelyan, Canada’s Wonderland: I take all attractions around us seriously as we are competing for the limited entertainment dollar. To do so, we create an environment where safety and guest service is of the utmost importance. We work diligently to ensure our park is maintained to give our guests a very pleasurable day and to ensure that they are happy to have visited Canada’s Wonderland.
Risto Räikkönen, Linnanmäki, Finland: Of course they are a threat for us, or they will be, as for the time being there are no larger resort destinations in Finland. However, there a lot more carnivals, open-air concerts, parades etc taking place Helsinki than ever before. Within the next decade we expect more competition as big international operators start to invest in Finland. The biggest threats we see are the huge shopping malls with a lot of entertainment (even ice skating and rock concerts!). We are the number one destination in Finnish tourism right now, and even have our own “half-day” attraction in the shape of a Sea Life centre. Each year about 1.3 visitors come to our park, most of them are Finns (97%) and around a quarter of the Finnish population visits our park annually. We must do our utmost to keep the number one position in the future.
Steve Gorman, Waldameer Park, USA: Larger resort attractions such as Darien Lake or Cedar Point do not pose a large threat to our operation. Those facilities are major destination draws, and people from our market will travel to them, but they are a good distance away, a 2.5 hour drive and more, and we will maintain our share of the region’s amusement park market. There is room for the smaller “half-day” attractions in our immediate market.
John Roberts, Wicksteed Park, UK: People may always choose to visit other attractions, but for us length of stay is not a problem as we have enough for either a half-day or full day visit. For people that do not want to spend a full day, perhaps the answer lies in creating synergy with other attractions by agreeing to display their advertising material in return for ours. Ultimately it is not other attractions that are the competition, but rather other “distractions.” By this I mean, in particular, entertainment at home (“going out is the new staying in”). And of course, the weather still determines visitor numbers more than anything else.