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.

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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

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