The state government of Maharashtra will open up dry amusement parks and cinemas on October 22, signaling the final phase before normalcy.
Though the decision on water parks has been deferred, over the last three months, as lockdowns were lifted and second vaccinations were taken, the general mood is that of optimism—the shadow of the coronavirus is slowly but surely fading.
The global attractions, travel, and tourism sectors are looking at positive movement in the next few months as people take “revenge” on the months of social distancing decreed by the darker circumstances of the last year.
This social phenomenon is loosely known as “revenge tourism” and its emergence entails that park owners and stakeholders have a foothold to gain when conditions return to normal, and patrons overwork the turnstiles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a topsy-turvy ride for park owners and stakeholders over the last 19 months, but many of them made use of the downtime to devise strategies to maximize the pent-up demand at this crucial time.
Finding Fruitful Partnerships in the Vicinity
There is a level playing field, as far as how the pandemic affected business. Every business has received some form of negative movement in the last 19 months, either due to a shortage of supply or demand. With that in mind, it is important for water park investors and owners to take courage, finding solidarity with other similarly-affected businesses with similar customers.
The crux of the matter is to understand which businesses outside your vertical share the same customer base with you. For water parks, this is usually hotels, restaurants, and other dry amusement parks and gaming arcades. The most successful water parks have continued to forge a strong network with these businesses in their vicinity, creating personalized offers and packages that the common customers find hard to refuse.
For example, a family of visiting tourists can make a special deal at their hotel, which includes a day at the nearby water park. Customers love convenient deals that they can fit within their itineraries, and this is made possible when venues are close by!
To take the thought further, travel agencies are another great resource for water parks. Travel advisors, now back in business, will be ready to sweeten deals for their customers, and you can get in touch with them to link your water park to their busy, online platforms.
Removing Waiting Times for Entry, Refreshment, & Merchandise
What are the three biggest sources of revenue for a water park?
The money paid for tickets, the refreshments, and the merchandise, the latter which includes products like apparel, toys, and swimming equipment.
What are the biggest deterrents to these sources of revenue? Queue waiting times. When customers learn that they must wait in long queues to get their products, they decide against a purchase. Water park owners have learned to value their customers’ time.
To solve this problem, they have devised digital mediums to make orders and purchases from everything from tickets to aerated beverages. We had outlined several methods on how water parks do this in a previous blog post. For easy reference QR access/purchase codes, self-service kiosks, and well-integrated park management software can make a huge difference.
Designing Exciting Multipurpose Water Attractions
During the downtime, managers and marketers identified that up-gradation of the ride experiences offered at the park would create powerful incentives for patrons returning post-pandemic. More exciting rides usually entail bigger returns. We had discussed nuances of how and why multipurpose attractions can result in superior engagement in a previous blog post. This is a tried-and-tested strategy.
The long and short of it is that water parks gain popularity from a particularly memorable ride—through word of mouth, video marketing, or advertisements—and this gives them the leeway to create pricing power gains. To make up for reduced visitor capacities, a norm during and since the pandemic, if water park administrators play their cards correctly, designing imaginative water play structures with ample space for hundreds of patrons to enjoy simultaneously, the reputation of the park rises, and they will get away with increasing the price of the tickets, without losing customers.
Staying Sensitive to Seasonal and Immediate Needs
One of the most immediate refrains in the last 19 months of COVID-19 has been the danger of indoor environments. The virus is transmitted more easily in indoor environments, where air circulates back and forth. Park owners are latching onto their parks’ outdoor nature, broadcasting how their establishments are safer relative to cinemas, air travel, hotels, and other entertainment options. And with the commonality of digital payments there is rarely a requirement to stand in queues for tickets, food, and beverage.
The other immediate reason for water park attendance is seasonal. While the cold is a deterrent to most water park activity, hot weather tends to cause a higher ticket load. In the middle of India, where the month of October can be unbearably hot and humid, water parks can look to improve their profits by emphasizing on how their patrons can beat the heat. Seasonal packages and ticket tiers can be devised to make the choice more affable for denizens.
For those parties looking to understand how to maximize profits, if you want business and management advice on the subject, you can always contact and consult with a water park equipment supplier like Arihant Water Slides.