During my visit to Japan I took the opportunity to experience two major theme parks: Universal Studios in Osaka and Disney SEA in Tokyo. As you can imagine expectations were high since I have visited both premium brands in other countries. Really excited to visit these parks! Not only from a professional point of view also as a theme park fan.
Both parks impressed me on theming, entertainment and cleanliness. However Continue reading Why Universal Studios Japan beats Disney SEA
Before reading this post, make sure you have read my post The Chinese tourist: a cultural difference. Over the last weeks I have visited tourist destinations in China were 20 million visitors annually is the norm. Just think about it: 20 million, that is the complete population of The Netherlands and even then you are 3 million short. In some parks it seemed we were the only foreigners which made us an additional attraction (read: photo set). But it also helped a lot observing behavior and the needs of the Chinese tourist. Making it slightly easier to understand the expectations of this interesting market group. In 2014 the number of Chinese visiting an overseas country increased with 19.49% over 2013. With the increasing salaries we can expect this trend to be continued. So be prepared! I have described the cultural difference between the West and China already which has a major impact on how you should target the Chinese tourist. In this post I will give you my personal view on how you should trigger the Chinese tourist when visiting your theme park or tourist attraction. READ MORE
It was obvious that I needed to pay a visit to one of the attractions of Merlin Entertainments, so why not go for a concept I really enjoy? And since Legoland Malaysia was on route to Singapore and I worked with the Director of Operations in Europe it was an easy pick! Continue reading Legoland Malaysia: bricklayer for tourism in Johor Bahru
It is 6 weeks already since I have left Amsterdam to explorer the Asian theme park and attraction market. And although I have visited a couple of theme parks over the last years in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing (read the post about Happy Valley here), Asia keeps surprising me. Last year I did set the goal to relocate to Asia but did not want to settle in China (based on a 3 week holiday trip, which is obviously not really showing the real China). This time China really got me. Due travelling on a budget I pushed myself to blend more with local (tourists) and eat, sleep and travel like a local (as a matter of fact: I write this post during a 10 hour train ride on a standing ticket, yes standing means really standing or sit in the aisle if you beat the competition by running at the platform like I did). Must admit it is far from comfortable but this is China: be flexible and you will enjoy the country, people and all what is crossing your path. And maybe the most important reason for now: it gives you time to observe the behavior of people. Which you should know is totally different from the rest of Asia.
Culture, People and Behavior
The cultural difference between the East and the West is the most important element to keep in mind when driving business or setting up a tourist attraction in China. Although I don’t consider myself as a cultural guru and there are books describing the Chinese culture better than I do. When it comes down to driving spends in tourism destinations it is about understanding guest behavior. Culture affects behavior (or does behavior results to culture?) what will impact your strategy to attract visitors and make them spend within the attraction. READ MORE
Amsterdam Airport: time to leave the country! This time not for work but for a once in a life time experience: travelling the world for the next 9 to 12 months together with my wife. Exploring culture, nature and the theme park industry on the other side of the world.
We are heading to the KLM lounge to get some drinks prior boarding. Nothing special to post about the lounge since all services are complementary. Once on 33.000 feet after our breakfast KLM started to increase the Average Transaction Value with their inflight shopping program: Sky High Collection. I fly frequently with KLM and used to see the shopping cart being pushed through the isle after the announcement via the speakers. I always wondered what the average spend onboard was. Actually I still do since I have never seen any passenger purchasing a Mont Blanc watch or KLM merchandise. Of course I have seen passengers on flights like Ryan Air or Air Asia spending on board but that was on food. Continue reading Upsell in the air!
Last week I had the chance to visit Beijings’ most popular theme park Happy Valley. The park opened in 2006 as the 2nd of the 6 Happy Valley parks in China operated by OCT. Happy Valley has its own metro station ‘Happy Valley Scenic Area’ which creates the opportunity to start the experience from here, like Disneyland Hong Kong and Paris do with special Mickey trains towards the park. However the station just looked like an ordinary metro station in Beijing. I have missed the clear routing within the station to the nearest exit to the park. The entrance does not matched the experience of the (Chinese) website however in front of the entrance there is a kind of a ‘monument’ which is colorful and includes the characters of the park (would be better to place something similar to this on top of the entrance). So the start was not really inspiring but I was curious to understand the commercial strategy of the park. Though the right experience will increase impulse purchases.
Retail in Happy Valley Beijing
Continue reading Retail in Happy Valley Beijing