Theme Parks

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Journal of Vacation Marketing
http://jvm.sagepub.com Strategic theming in theme park marketing Kevin K. F. Wong and Phoebe W. Y. Cheung Journal of Vacation Marketing 1999; 5; 319 DOI: 10.1177/135676679900500402 The online version of this article can be found at: http://jvm.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/4/319

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Journal of Vacation Marketing

Volume 5 Number 4

Academic Papers Strategic theming in theme park marketing
Kevin K. F. Wong and Phoebe W. Y. Cheung Received (in revised form): 20th May, 1999 Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: (00 852) 2766 6341; Fax: (00 852) 2362 9362; E-mail: hmkevinw@polyu.edu.hk

Kevin K. F. Wong, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Manager of the HTM Resource Centre in the Department of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. His major research interests focus on tourism management, tourist behaviour, tourism forecasting models and impact studies. Phoebe W. Y. Cheung is a research assistant within the Department of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

erately strong relationships were found between motivation for theme park visits by visitors and their demographics and lifestyle patterns. Given the fact the theme park industry is still relatively young in Asia, the ®ndings of this study reinforce the need for Asian theme parks to focus strategically on satisfying lower-level needs, such as stimulation, by developing and marketing an adventure theme comparable with Western theme parks. INTRODUCTION The theme park industry has witnessed a fairly rapid international expansion in recent years. In the US, the industry has reached maturity after 30 years of growth since the inception of Disneyland in the late 1950s, while in Europe, the industry has spread throughout Western Europe with a large concentration of attractions in Germany, France, the Benelux countries and the UK. Reports from the Economist Intelligence Unit indicate that the worldwide trend of the theme park industry is growing.1 The North American theme park industry grew at a compound rate of almost 3 per cent in attendance over the past decade while Europe has become an attractive venue for corporate investment in theme park development by European consortia and large US corporations. Following Europe is Asia, which has been identi®ed as the world's next leading international theme park market. In North Asia,

ABSTRACT KEYWORDS: theme park, theming, leisure, motivation, lifestyle

Theme parks aim to create the atmosphere of another world and it is essentially the theme which becomes the main part of a theme park experience. Thematic tourism has become increasingly popular where travel is motivated by an interest in a particular subject or area rather than by the more traditional motivations such as idyllic scenery and climate. The drawing power of theming is evident in the fact that it has, in recent years, become a catalyst for the growth of new destinations based mainly on thematic leisure. This study attempts to identify and describe a distinct and representative set of theme types and attributes in a theme park and examines the relationship between visitors' motivation for visiting theme parks and theme preferences. Weak to mod-

Journal of Vacation Marketing Vol. 5 No. 4, 1999, pp. 319±332, & Henry Stewart Publications, 1356-7667

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