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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Ady Milman

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dimensions and practices that have shaped the present global theme park industry. The reader is first introduced to the…

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11543

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dimensions and practices that have shaped the present global theme park industry. The reader is first introduced to the characteristics of the global theme park industry. Following a historical review of the evolution of theme parks, the paper reports on the scope of the global theme park industry, according to major geographical regions. The overview continues with an explanation of how themes are created and communicated to guests and finally, addresses the impact of theme parks on the economic sustainability of destinations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview and historical examination of key concepts and phenomena. The paper is more descriptive than analytical.

Findings

The paper concludes that continuous growth of the global theme park industry will be influenced by the quality and amount of marketing and advertising campaigns, development of new products and guest experiences, as well as external variables that the parks have no control over like competitors' strategies, weather, economic conditions, gasoline prices, government regulations, and so on.

Research limitations/implications

The paper reports on several secondary research, scholarly as well as industry and government publications. Some of the original research quoted is conducted by the author.

Practical implications

The theme park industry has generated a wide circle of social, economic, and political influences ranging from town planning, historic preservation, building architecture, shopping mall design, and landscaping. Its impact extends further to video and computer‐assisted education, home and office design, exhibit design, and crowd management.

Originality/value

The paper provides a general overview of the theme park and attraction industry.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Seiji Kawamura and Tadayuki Hara

The purpose of this paper is to put modern history of theme park developments in Japan in perspective and identify the challenges associated with theme parks in Japan.

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1597

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to put modern history of theme park developments in Japan in perspective and identify the challenges associated with theme parks in Japan.

Design/methodology/approach

Amid the structural lack of themepark related operational and financial data, the authors approached the issue from the analyses of limited information on theme parks in Japan, where most, if any, of the available data are in Japanese only. This precluded the authors to conduct quantitative analyses of the parks in Japan.

Findings

The authors found that two of the comparable large‐scale theme park developments in Japan led to dramatically different operating results and that continued innovation of the contents of the park is one of the notable differences when the two parks are compared.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the dramatic failure of one park, while in contrast the other thrives; underscoring that theme park investment is subject to embracing high‐risk, high‐maintenance and constant innovation efforts by the operator.

Originality/value

The paper may be valuable to readers in the East Asian region and other nations which have plans to host large‐scale theme park development in the near future, as this presents the rare cases of success and failure in theme park operations in Japan.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Tayllor Lillestol, Dallen J. Timothy and Rebekka Goodman

This paper aims to examine the competitive strategies employed by two of the largest theme park operators in Florida, based on a content analysis of popular media articles…

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5827

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the competitive strategies employed by two of the largest theme park operators in Florida, based on a content analysis of popular media articles about theme park giants in the USA. It aims to provide a comparative examination of their competitive strategies, to develop a conceptual model of the same and to expand knowledge about current competitiveness in the theme park sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used directed content analysis to identify and analyze strategies applied in the theme park sector as manifested in the mass media. Each database was searched using the following four key terms: competition, strategy, Disney and Universal Studios. Results were screened for relevance based on their inclusion of all four key terms. At the conclusion of the search, 87 articles from 34 US-based sources were amassed, varying in circulation size and published between 1985 and 2013. Each article was read, and sentences that suggested the use of a strategy were recorded. Although the intention was to leave each data point at a one-sentence maximum, occasionally, a second sentence was included for context and clarification. Each article was read twice to ensure the inclusion of all potential data points.

Findings

The findings suggest that the largest US-based theme parks utilize strategies of value, uniqueness, niche markets, innovation, variety and quality as highlighted in the research literature. However, this study also confirms two additional competitive strategies that have heretofore not been examined in tourism studies – currency and convenience – as advantageous management and promotional mechanisms against their competitors.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to this research include a limited number of popular media articles available for analysis. This precluded a random sample of articles. In addition, the study was based on print media statements and keyword identification, which could also limit the generalizability of the findings. Nonetheless, it is believed that the case studies researched in this paper are indicative of many of the competitive strategies used by theme park managers throughout the world.

Practical implications

The paper developed a competitive strategy model that has utility for them park planners and managers, as they attempt to understand the competitive advantages and those of their direct competitors. The findings in this study have broader implications for other theme parks throughout the world.

Social implications

The social implications of this study are manifold. They include the notion that theme park attendees manifest certain behaviors and seek out certain experiences as they make decisions on which parks to attend. The notions of value, uniqueness, niche markets, innovation, variety, quality, currency and convenience all reveal how some consumers determine their choice of venue for recreational travel.

Originality/value

This paper provides an original research of the theme park sector by examining two of the USA’s largest theme park giants and the strategies they use in a comparative and competitive manner to attraction clientele and maintain visitation. In particular, the paper develops a conceptual model based upon the review of strategies literature and, then, tests it and modifies it based on the findings of the study.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2006

Hsin-You Chuo and John L. Heywood

In addition to individual differences, variations in visitors’ motivations may result from temporal variance. The leisure ladder model (LLM) is one of the most…

Abstract

In addition to individual differences, variations in visitors’ motivations may result from temporal variance. The leisure ladder model (LLM) is one of the most representative motivation models, which proposes patterns for an individual's temporal dynamic nature. This study attempts to examine empirically the ageing and experiential variations of the theme park visitors’ motivations, which underlie the model. Using stratified and systematic sampling techniques, survey data were collected from visitors to four leading theme parks in Taiwan – an Asian island nation. Limited support for the ageing variation was found and its changing pattern was also recognized in this study. A relatively more discriminating scale to measure the extent of visitor's experience was also suggested.

Details

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-396-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2020

Lamya Lari, Fauzia Jabeen and Shilpa Iyanna

This study aims to develop a framework to identify, categorise and prioritise the dimensions of service quality in theme parks in an Islamic cultural context.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a framework to identify, categorise and prioritise the dimensions of service quality in theme parks in an Islamic cultural context.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review was conducted to identify service quality dimensions in theme parks in an Islamic cultural context, and a survey tool was used to explore visitors’ opinions of the most important dimensions and sub-dimensions. An analytic hierarchy process was used to prioritise the main criteria and sub-criteria of dimensions of theme park service quality in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study identified four main criteria and 24 sub-criteria of service quality for the theme park industry from an Islamic perspective.

Findings

Consumables quality and physical environment quality were the top priorities under the main criteria. Availability of halal food was the most important sub-criteria of service quality in theme parks in the UAE, followed by price of food and beverages and staff attitude and behaviour in equal second place, and then quality of food and beverages and quality of facilities, again with equal scores.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on tourists visiting an emerging country, and the results therefore cannot be generalised to other cultural contexts. This study has developed a comprehensive model of theme park service quality using a hierarchical method. This included both general and Islamic service quality dimensions. This study, therefore, contributes to the “Islamic tourism” literature by identifying the importance of Islamic attributes in evaluating service quality of theme parks in Islamic countries.

Practical implications

The outcome of the study will provide local and international theme parks with explicit ideas about the service quality dimensions that are important in an Islamic cultural context. This will help them to prioritise the critical service quality dimensions, and eventually contribute to the successful management of theme parks.

Originality/value

This study offers new insights into the dimensions of service quality of theme parks in an Islamic cultural context.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2016

Janice Scarinci and Gene Jeffers

This chapter explores what has been and is planning to be implemented in the theme parks in the Orlando area to meet the specific needs of a rising number of Chinese…

Abstract

This chapter explores what has been and is planning to be implemented in the theme parks in the Orlando area to meet the specific needs of a rising number of Chinese tourists. The literature review examines factors affecting tourists’ decisions and provides an overview of inbound Chinese tourists to the United States and their expectations and behaviors in theme parks. An online survey instrument was developed and implemented; it focused on Orlando-based theme park professionals’ creative design and operation strategies specific to meeting Chinese needs. The study provides a descriptive account of managers’ perspectives of both current and planned efforts to meet their needs in this particular theme park.

Details

The World Meets Asian Tourists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-219-1

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Xiaoxiao Fu, Juhee Kang, Jeeyeon Jeannie Hahm and Jessica Wiitala

This paper aims to propose and test a conceptual model of theme park experiences by investigating the relationships among brand experience, self-congruity, flow and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose and test a conceptual model of theme park experiences by investigating the relationships among brand experience, self-congruity, flow and brand-related outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from guests who had visited a theme park in the past 12 months. Confirmatory factor analysis, consisting of second-order factor analysis and structural equation modeling with the incorporation of alternative model testing, was employed.

Findings

The findings revealed that theme park customers’ internalization of brand experience influenced their attitudinal and behavioral tendency with regard to the brand through self-congruity and flow.

Practical implications

This study provides strategies for theme park designers and marketers under pressure to create a desired experiential setting that motivates visitors to engage in activities through various brand stimuli. Well-designed theme parks can create an optimal state of focus and attention, immersing visitors to the extent that they lose their sense of time and place, affecting their attitude and behavior toward the theme park brand.

Originality/value

Theme parks provide a highly experiential, immersive and personally relevant experience with brand elements. Very few studies have attempted to investigate the consequences of theme park experience from the theoretical perspective of customers’ connection with the brand. This study proposed and validated a conceptual model to capture how theme park experience influenced visitors’ commitment to and active engagement with theme park brands through the mechanisms of self-congruity and flow.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Judy Holcomb, Fevzi Okumus and Anil Bilgihan

The purpose of this paper is to examine what the top three Orlando theme parks report about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

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3673

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine what the top three Orlando theme parks report about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

Design/methodology/approach

Through content analysis, web sites, annual reports, and CSR reports of the top three theme park companies in Orlando, namely, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment were examined.

Findings

The top three theme parks in Orlando mainly reported their CSR activities in relation to environment, community, and customers. Their diversity policies, employee welfare programs and employee volunteerism were also widely reported. Walt Disney World seemed to provide the most detailed CSR reporting in all areas.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to content analysis of web sites and CSR reports, future studies may look at a single company and try to collect data via interviews and surveys. In addition, this paper only offers a view of the theme park's CSR reporting, since, each of the companies do not have any form of verification of their CSR activities. Therefore, it should not attest to the performance of each theme park in such activities.

Practical implications

The research findings suggest that according to their reporting efforts the top three theme park companies in Orlando undertake and participate in various CSR activities and initiatives, which are important for the environment, local community, customers, and employees. However, their reporting and emphasis of certain CSR activities seem to vary. These companies can better publicize and promote their CSR activities. With rising awareness regarding CSR activities, it is important for the theme park industry to begin profiling their CSR efforts as part of their overall corporate and business strategies. Again creating a CSR department to oversee and coordinate all CSR activities would be helpful for theme park companies.

Originality/value

This is perhaps one of the first papers looking at CSR activities of theme park companies. It provides practical implications about reporting of CSR activities for theme parks. It is hoped that this paper stimulates further research into this area in the theme park industry.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Pieter C.M. Cornelis

Whereas investments in new attractions continue to rise within the theme park industry, knowledge regarding the effects of new attractions on theme park performance and…

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3470

Abstract

Purpose

Whereas investments in new attractions continue to rise within the theme park industry, knowledge regarding the effects of new attractions on theme park performance and attendance remains scarce. In order to isolate these effects, the purpose of this paper is to present the results of an econometric study explaining the variance in theme park visitor numbers and quantifying the effects of new attractions on theme park attendance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an econometric study, in which models were produced for four European theme parks. No pooled modelling was used, meaning that four different models were created; one for each participating theme park. Various variables affecting theme park attendance were identified and quantified, and subsequently the effects of new attractions on visitor numbers were isolated.

Findings

Findings indicate that all new attractions opened at Park D during the research period have had a positive long‐term influence on attendance. This positive influence lasted for no more than two years. No significant short‐term influence was found. There were significant differences in effect between new attractions which could not yet be explained.

Research limitations/implications

The research by design only takes into account the economic effects of new attractions and disregards all environmental and socio‐cultural effects. Even though the research provides an accurate approximation of the effects of new attractions on attendance, this effect should, according to the author, not be perceived as a stand‐alone effect yet as a part of a complex system. A situational approach taking into account several other situational as well as qualitative factors would do the complex reality more justice than a, even though effective, simplified and general approach.

Practical implications

Industry operators can now use the econometric model presented in this paper to determine the effects of new attractions on their theme park's attendance and use this knowledge to further fine‐tune their investment policy.

Originality/value

The paper presents the first econometric model successful at isolating and quantifying a new attraction's effect on theme park attendance and can thus be a valuable tool in perfecting one's investment policy. The paper furthermore includes a brief introduction to a situational approach of determining a new attraction's effects on theme park performance.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Wei Wei, Yanyan Zheng, Lu Zhang and Nathaniel Line

Theme park experiences ubiquitously unfold in the presence of others. In acknowledgement of this important part of theme park consumption, this research set out to examine…

Abstract

Purpose

Theme park experiences ubiquitously unfold in the presence of others. In acknowledgement of this important part of theme park consumption, this research set out to examine if other visitors help create an immersive environment and, in turn, memorable experiences for theme park visitors.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was distributed to 561 theme park visitors. Structural equation modeling (AMOS 26) was used for testing the hypotheses in the proposed framework.

Findings

Results of SEM analyses reveal the positive impact of perceived similarity on visitors' sense of immersion at theme parks and the memorability of the experience. In turn, memorable experiences further drive behavioral intentions (i.e., return intention and willingness to pay premiums).

Practical implications

The findings provide suggestions for theme parks to leverage customer-to-customer interactions in order to create immersive and memorable visitor experiences.

Originality/value

This research marks one of the first attempts to approach customer-to-customer interactions (CCIs) at theme parks by empirically examining the impact of the perceived similarity of others on focal visitors' emotions and experiences.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

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