Europe’s waterpark attendance tops 30 million for first time

 Friday, May 18, 2018 


Europe-waterparksWaterpark attendance for the very first time has topped the 30 million mark in terms of visitor arrivals among the world’s leading 20, with strong performance in a few of the best waterparks of Europe as per the TEA/AECOM Theme Index.


A collaboration of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at AECOM, the 12th TEA/ AECOM Theme Index is an annual study of global attractions attendance, surveying theme parks, theme park groups, museums and waterparks.


Across the world’s leading 20 most-visited waterparks, attendance had risen by 1.6% between 2016 and 2017 breaking the 30 million visitor barrier for the very first time in the report’s history.


Chimelong based in Guangzhou, China continues to retain the title of world’s most-attended waterpark with a 6% year-on-year rise, up from 2.5 million tourists in 2016 to 2.7 million in 2017.


Making its debut on the list is Volcano Bay of Orlando as the Universal waterpark had been ranked sixth with as many as 1.5 million visitors in its first year.


The greatest attendance increase had come for 16th-ranked Siam Park on the Canary Islands that had recorded a 20.9%, 200,000 visitor rise to 1.2 million visitors in 2017.


In Latin America, waterpark visits totaled 9.9 million visitors raising expectations that 2018 for the first time would witness that the region would cross over the 10 million mark.


While there were increases at any properties in Brazil, last year’s earthquake in Central Mexico that led to declines, especially for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Oaxtepec, a freshly acquired and renovated Six Flags water park operating in its inaugural season.


For the EMEA market, overall attendance was up 3.2% to 9.6 million, though visitation in the Middle East declined. According to the report, this drop was due to “the significant increase in competition for leisure time and spend” in the region.


In addition to the success of Siam Park, in Europe, Prague’s Aquapalace in the Czech Republic has had an excellent year, increasing its attendance by 18.8% to 1.2 million visitors. Therme Erding in Germany is Europe’s most visited waterpark, with numbers up 6% to 1.3 million. This does not include an additional 500,000 visitors who paid to enter Therme’s spa so as to make an equitable waterpark comparison on an international basis.


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