As theme parks continue to fascinate Indian travellers, bookings to such destinations have grown considerably and the demand is likely to double in the next five years, according to industry experts.
“There has been an increase of about 13% in the bookings for domestic theme parks compared to 2017, whereas, we continue to witness an increase of close to 18% for international parks,” said Karan Anand, head-relationships, Cox and Kings. Anand said the growth is picking up as it’s not about going there only for vacations but also for extended weekends.
“Another trend that we have observed is that parents gift a theme park vacation to children when they excel in studies or sports. We see the demand doubling over the next five years. Theme parks are destinations by itself and one does not have to go anywhere else,” he added.
Indian travellers are letting South-East Asian countries take the lead with about 60% of the total theme park bound traffic heading to these destinations, including Lego Land in Malaysia, Disneyworld in Hong Kong and Universal Studios in Singapore, Anand said.
Since the majority of visitors are families with children, the peak season starts from April and goes until June-July, after which traffic resumes in October. “However, we see a considerable growth in the number of youngsters visiting as well. Bollywood parks and water sports parks are a big hit among them. Hence, we can see the season gradually extending to September,” he added.
Theme parks are also evolving to attract different segments of travellers. “Women-only groups, couples with no kids, youngsters and a certain percentage of solo travellers from India get attracted to these parks,” he said.
The Dubai Bollywood Park, Universal Studios in Sentosa Island of Singapore, Universal Studios in Japan, Harbin Ice in China, Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi are some of diverse parks that are wooing other travellers from India, he said.
Meanwhile, Expedia India’s marketing head-brand, Manmeet Ahluwalia said the Indian theme park industry is growing at 11-13%, mostly from metro cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Surat, Indore, Bhopal and Jalandhar. “Though the bookings for theme parks are on throughout the year, we have noticed summer vacations are the peak season,” he said. The bookings are usually done for 3-4 days, as most international parks have passes valid for multiple-day use, he added.
Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor India said that theme parks are always a fun activity for all kinds of travellers. In fact, he said, out of the top 15 popular international destinations Indians are travelling to this summer, least 10 have theme parks, including Bali, Phuket, Singapore, Dubai, London, Paris, Bangkok, Pattaya, New York and Hong Kong.