1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
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, costumed personnel, retailing are orchestrated. In this definition, the concept of themes is crucial to the operation of the parks, with rides, entertainment, and food all used to create several different environments. These themes are used to create and sustain a feeling of life involvement in a setting completely removed from daily experience. Most theme parks are isolated, self contained units. Furthermore, it needs to be noted that most theme parks are developed, targeted and managed as private sector companies, and are commercial enterprises. 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. The world’s best known theme parks arguably are the Disney parks, such as Disneyland, Disneyworld and Euro Disney.
Types of Themes (Contemporary Theme Park)
Theme Park Features
(i) A single pay-one-price admission charge;
(ii) The fact that they are mostly artificially created; and (iii) The requirement of high capital investments.
Theme Park Components
First, the theme park service is intangible; the visitor cannot see the result before it is purchased. A visitor does not know what the result of roller-coaster ride will be before he or she actually participates in the ride. Also, there is no tangible product to take home for the visitor. After the roller-coaster ride, there is only the experience and memories left in the visitor’s mind. Also, consumers cannot inspect the product before purchase. To reduce uncertainty, a consumer will look for signs or evidence of service quality. Sources of information on which consumers make a decision for purchase therefore assume a great importance for marketers. This explains the fact that good customer service, effective public relations, and quality literature are integral elements of theme park marketing. Second, the theme park product is inseparable: service products are produced and consumed at the same time. Therefore, the service a visitor receives must be right the first time. Also, as a consequence of inseparability, tourism products offer only shared use rights. A visitor in a theme park has to share the whole park, attraction and facilities with the other visitors. If different users have conflicting expectations and attitudes, this can result in problems. For example, noisy teenagers and elderly people in a museum may not be compatible. Third, theme parks offer only temporary use rights. Usually, visitors buy a ticket that allows them to spend one day in the park after which their use rights are over. Within the limited day visitors need to maximize the use of the rides, activities, exhibits and facilities available in the park. Fourth, the theme park product is perishable and cannot be stored. This is not a problem when demand for the services is steady, because it is easy to staff the services in advance. However, when demand fluctuates, these fluctuations can cause problems for the park. For example, when most visitors arrive at the same time in the morning at the entrance of the park this may cause congestion, or when all visitors in a park follow the same routing...
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