Theme parks diversifying tourism sector, contributing to economic development, states new report

Kenya has witnessed a rapid transformation of the theme parks and amusement sector, taking them up for value addition, especially in the commercial real estate sector. This is according to a new report that follows a similar analysis by research group, Colliers, which states that the industry is set to be worth an estimated Sh4.5 trillion globally within the next three to four years.

As such, new generation malls like Two Rivers and Garden City Mall have made amusement parks part of their family attraction packages.

The features have continued to draw families to the establishments and growing business for local vendors and businesses. It is also notable that theme and amusement parks in the country keep getting bigger.

Tourism is one of the largest contributors to economy in the global sector, and more regions are looking into ways to diversify the sector and make it more attractive to both local and international tourists.

Development of theme parks and attractions has become a global trend as regions continue tapping into the sector to create sustainable destinations.

Theme parks are being used to diversify cities attractions for tourists and boost economies. By tapping into family tourism, theme parks are creating opportunities through investments in infrastructure, jobs creation and tax revenues.

Dubai, which has this year deepened its investment ties with Kenya, is the latest region to tap into the trend with a notable boom in the theme parks and amusement park sector. This year, Dubai opened the ‘IMG Worlds of Adventure’ theme park, which is currently the largest indoor theme park in the world.

The park cost $1 billion (Sh102.2 billion) to build and took 3 year to complete. Built on over 1.5 million square feet, the attraction has been a magnet to tourists from Asia, Africa and the rest of the world.

Dubai has been growing its tourist flow with its family packed entertainment areas, and it currently expects 6.7 million ticketed visits in 2017- according to CEO of Arabian Falcon Holidays.

A 2016 report by Colliers International predicted that the UAE will be admitting 19 million people a year into their theme parks by 2020 if current trends persist.

Theme parks in the UAE and other parts of the world have attracted huge investment opportunities from international entities that have continued to grow economies.

IMG Worlds has also announced the opening of yet another theme park ‘IMG Worlds of Legends’ which will be bigger than World’s of Adventure to cater for the growing demand and growing its flow of tourists into the region.

The global market for Amusement and Theme Parks is forecast to reach $44.3 billion (Sh4.5 trillion) in 2020 driven by the recovery in leisure spending, rise in international tourism and the continued growth of the middle class in emerging markets.

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