Millions of guests are looking for a little adventure in theme parks in Europe every year. After a few years of crisis, the business is buzzing with the thrill. Visitor numbers are the currency that counts.
According to the industry association IAAPA, the 307 theme and amusement parks on the continent with their roller coasters, shows and water slides, sold around 150 million tickets last year. They had at turnover of almost five billion euros and employ more than 50,000 people.
Though there are minor problems this summer, this is only an irregularity. “The number of visitors is currently a bit restrained, because it is very hot,” said a spokeswoman from Germany’s amusement park giant, the Europa Park Rust. It is possible that just the weather will put a damper on this year’s balance sheet.
One of the oldest parks in the world, Tivoli in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, is celebrating its 175th birthday. Every day a big parade moves through the park. Surprisingly, despite hot summer days, visitor numbers have not dropped this year, according to official sources.
Currently, the Tivoli Business Barometer is pointing upwards. In 2017, despite a rainy summer with fewer visitors, the Danish park reported the best result of its history. Turnover rose to 947.4 million kroner (almost 130 million euros). This is an increase of 4.2% compared to the year before. This year, visitor numbers promise even better results.
Theme parks are also on the rise worldwide. According to the association TEA, their visitor numbers grew on average by 8.6%. This is mainly due to the sudden development in China. But the 20 largest theme parks in Europe also grew on average by 3.4%.
Florida remains the world’s largest theme park destination. World market leader Disney World alone attracts more than 20 million visitors every year. The Europa Park in Rust – Europe’s second largest park – is only 21st in the world with 5.7 million visitors. Behind it is Tivoli with 4.6 million annual visitors. In this sense, European parks still have a long way to go to reach the levels of their American counterparts.