Putting the wonder back in wonderland
The two biggest amusement parks in India – one the oldest, the other youngest – vie for agents’ attention. Here’s a lowdown of what EsselWorld and Adlabs Imagica are doing to remain one up.
While recovering from celebrating the envious one million-mark, Adlabs Imagica ensured that it shared the good news with everyone, especially the agents. Claiming to be India’s “only international standard theme park” it achieved this feat within a year of operations. Imagica’s CEO, Kapil Bagla, finds it hard to hide his excitement.
”We launched in April 2013 and crossed the one-million milestone by July 2014. While word-ofmouth and direct advertising has helped, our partner agents have done a fabulous job. We are constantly adding and updating our partnerships with agents based on performance. We are now looking to add more agents to our fold to reach our next target of two million visitors! This is not too far as we are growing at 18-20% per year,” Bagla said.
We are looking to add more agents to our fold to reach our next target of two million visitors! We are growing at 18-20% per year
Of the total visitors, it received over 2.2 lakh schoolchildren from 550 schools from across India. This segment therefore is a huge market for the park and it is keen on oper- ators and agents who have inroads into schools. The trade currently sells through an API on the park’s website.
Bagla added, “We have strategic partnerships with multiple travel operators including Cox & Kings, Kuoni-SOTC, Arzoo.com and Kesari Tours. We mostly focus on agents from the western region, since our catchment areas are Maharashtra and Gujarat.”
Adlabs Imagica is also busy constructing a 287-key hotel that will be completed in two phases – 2014-end and mid-2015. “We are currently in talks with hotel management companies, but haven’t finalised anyone yet. It will be promoted to the leisure and family segment as well as the wedding market,” he said.
Old is gold
Meanwhile, not too far from Khopoli, Pan India Paryatan has invested around US$ 5 million ( 50 lakh) on new rides and sprucing up facilities at Esselworld and Water Kingdom over the last three years. Talking about trade engagements, Shirish Deshpande, CEO of Pan India Paryatan, says, “We have a strong network of travel agents in Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. We are associated with a total of 250 agents which help us get tourists from across India. We create attractive packages which are combined with travel agents’ packages. They also enjoy offers that are available online as well as special packages made specifically for each travel agent. We also keep them updated about the product and give them freedom to present us new offers which are beneficial for us, travel agents and as well as our guests.” As of now, the company is not planning another EsselWorld in India, but it does boast of a Radisson Blu EsselWorld in the vicinity. This helps them attract a lot of MICE traffic. “We do get a lot of corporates who do their annual get-togethers, product launches, etc; and we offer them special discounts on group bookings. We also do a lot of corporate tie-ups for incremental footfalls and advance realisation of ticket revenue,” Deshpande said. It recently tied up with Mahindra&Mahindra, Future Group and Gujarat Ambuja for this. Speaking about the trend in amusement parks in India, he observes that a lot of new players are coming up.
CEO Adlabs Imagica