Carl Lum, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, USA (pictured): In reality, it will be a combination of both.
The day is long over where you can just pass along a 6% gate increase by itself and have it stick. Consumers have fundamentally changed their mindset in our new economy. Price increases must be perceived by our guests as having the product and guest experience that capture that value. This means investing capital, always improving guest service and being flexible in how you deploy your pricing strategy based on consumer feedback. Growing per capita spending happens through the relentless exercise of constant innovation and quality products at fair price points. It is much like cutting your grass, when you think you are done, it’s time to start again. It’s much more complicated and demanding now, but also more rewarding when you get it right.
Angelique Klar, Slagharen, The Netherlands: In order to refine our dynamic pricing/yield management model and earn more money, we will raise our highest price by €3 in 2012. Prices on food & beverage, games and retail will stay at the same level, but we will focus on pre-ordered F&B packages and games tickets through the internet. Of course the customer will receive a benefit if they order these supplements upfront. So, while we will not raise our prices in this way we hope to increase in-park spending overall.
Jerry Brick, Lake Compounce, USA: For us the bigger challenge will be raising gate prices. While per capita spending is going to increase in some areas, there are other areas of the park that we are still uncertain about and that causes a lot uncertainty in the per capita spending.