THEME PARK – THE MAIN CONCEPT OF TOURISM INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT Dridea Catrinel Raluca Romanian American Univerity, Faculty of Domestic an International Tourism Economy, 303 Mihai Bravu Street, bl 18 A, sc B, ap 54, sector3, Bucharest, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone 0744.671.291 Strutzen Gina 14 Alexandru Ioan Cuza Street, Voluntari, Ilfov, Email: email@example.com, Phone: 0723.212.300, Romanian American Univerity, Faculty of Domestic an International Tourism Economy Theme parks are star players in the tourism industry, and play a special and important role in generating tourism demand. Theme parks are the main motivators for tourism trips to many destinations and core elements of the tourism product. Competition in the theme park market is growing also in terms of an increasing number of parks, but also relative to other uses of leisure. But in different areas, the theme park market in seems to be reaching its saturation point and the parks have to cater for visitors who are getting more and more experienced and demanding. Given these trends of growing theme park supply, environmental constraints and increasingly discriminating consumer demand, it can be concluded that theme parks, to survive in this competitive market, must optimize is, given an ever increasing number of parks and future trend of consumer behavior. Keywords: tourism, theme parks, development
The theme park concept
In general, theme parks can be defined as a subset of visitor attractions. Visitor attractions are described as permanent resources which are designed, controlled and managed for the enjoyment, amusement, entertainment, and education of the visiting public There are the main types of managed attractions for visitors: ancient monuments; historic buildings; parks and gardens; theme parks; wildlife attractions; museums; art galleries; industrial archeology sites; themed retail sites; amusement and leisure parks. Another definition of visitor attractions is regarded by specialists as “single units, individual sites or clearly defined small-scale geographical areas that are accessible and motivate large numbers of people to travel some distance from their home, usually in their leisure time, to visit them for a short, limited period of time”. Although this definition excludes uncontrollable and unmanageable phenomena the definition does imply that attractions are entities that are capable of being delimited and managed. The adepts of this definition consider four main types of attractions: features within the natural environment (beaches, caves, forests); man-made buildings, structures and sites that were designed for a purpose; other than attracting visitors (churches, archeological sites); man-made buildings, structures and sites that were designed to attract visitors and were purposely built to accommodate their needs, such as theme parks (theme parks, museums, waterfront developments); special events (sporting events, markets). These four types are distinguished by two aspects. Firstly, the first three types are generally permanent attractions, while the last category covers attractions that are temporary. Second, tourism is often seen as a threat to the first two types, and is generally perceived to be beneficial and an opportunity for the last two types. Managers of the first two types of attractions in general deal with problems caused by visitors, such as environmental damages and pollution, while managers of the other two types tend to aim to attract tourists, increase visitor numbers, and maximize economic input. The main features that distinguish theme parks from other kinds of visitor attractions are: • a single pay-one-price admission; • charge; • the fact that they are mostly artificially created; • the requirement of high capital investments. Theme parks attempt to create an atmosphere of another place and time, and usually emphasize one dominant theme around which architecture, landscape, rides, shows, food services,...
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