New-age parks add perks for tourism
As the growth of amusement parks and entertainment zones are helping facilitate the flow of tourists, these zones are also banking on the travel trade fraternity for support.
MEGHA PAUL Despite
the amusement /entertainment parks industry in India being more than two decades old, it is still at a nascent stage. The industry in India is worth
7,000 crore and has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Being an integral part of the leisure industry, the amusement park industry contributes almost 40 per cent of the total turnover of the entire leisure industry. Considering the footfalls it attracts, a lot of state governments are proactively engaging publicprivate partnership ( PPP) models to promote amusement parks in their regions. And thus, amusement parks in India are shifting from a ‘standalone park’ model to an ‘entertainment hub’ model.
As the growth of amusement parks and entertainment zones are helping facilitate the flow of tourists, these zones are banking on the travel trade fraternity for support. Travel agents and tour operators are in turn, increasingly looking at this avenue for increasing their business.
The Kingdom of Dreams (KOD) in Gurgaon is a destination in itself which is capturing the imagination of the world. According to Viraf Sarkari, Director, Kingdom of Dreams, KOD receives on average over 50,000 visitors a month. “We are expecting it to cross one million visitors by the year-end of 2013,” he says. On whether the advent of such parks has helped to package tourism products better, especially for a city such as Delhi, Sarkari feels, “KOD offers world-class entertainment in a format which entertains, educates and promotes the culture of India. As KOD product offerings compare with the best in the world in the field of entertainment, the location is increasingly being included as a must-see and must-visit destination in the travel itineraries.”
Talking about the importance of travel trade, he says, “Since KOD appeals to a variety of segments, it is important the travel trade community should extend all possible support to it. As an organisation and a destination, we are very committed to this segment. We are also appointing international representatives in key international markets for a better market penetration to increase international travel traffic towards KOD.” To boost its portfolio, KOD has been tying up with several trade trade associations as well. “For example- during the PATA Mart in New Delhi in 2011, we extended a special rate of INR 1100/- to LPTI and they invited FTOs from UK, Europe, South Africa, Middle East and the US. Generally, these events always give an opportunity to extend the product exposure to key custodians of trade, especially to the FTOs and travel agents based out of Delhi and enhance the brand recall,” he reveals.
Reiterating the importance of the travel trade fraternity, Mohit Sawhney, General Manager, Unitech Amusement Parks that handles the Adventure Island in