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20 Jan 2018 Attractions Management Handbook
 

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Attractions Management Handbook - Editor’s Letter

Welcome

Editor’s Letter


We need stronger tech skills

Liz Terry, Leisure Media

Attractions operators are thriving, as leisure time and disposable income increase and the sector enjoys the benefits of being linked to the global tourism sector which is posting record results. Where once attractions were all about the physical environment – museums curated and displayed their collections, theme parks installed the latest rollercoaster and science centres presented interactive displays – advances in technology are driving the industry in new and exciting direc- tions and changing the landscape in which attractions operate.

In this edition of the Attractions Management Handbook, we're introducing Attractions ForesightTM (page 10) – a new an- nual forecasting and trends report which stops to consider the directions the industry might take and looks at existing and predicted trends and how they’ll impact existing businesses.

The overwhelming impression gained from this report is that attractions operators must move from being experts in delivering visitor experiences through physical means to being experts in technology in all its forms and understanding how to use it to create ever more compelling experiences.

Technology is coming at us from every direction and in every field, from wearable headsets and skin patches to brain scan- ners, virtual reality headsets and interactive, haptic environments and we’re only just at the beginning of figuring out how we can use these amazing new tools in our work.

The next ten years will be some of the most exciting the industry has ever experienced, with opportunities for growth and deeper engagement with visitors and stakeholders.

But if we’re going to successfully take advantage of this wealth of opportunities, we need to up-skill fast and become far more tech-savvy.

There’s a real dearth of expertise in the area of tech for attractions in all but the largest operating companies and this needs to change.

Operators like Disney have always been able to afford in-house teams to tackle and exploit the lastest technology and their scale and reach means this is a viable option, but smaller operators don’t currently have this luxury.

We need these skills as an industry, so must find room on the payroll for full- or part-time experts or consultants who can find applications for new tech and support its implementation.

Academia is one likely source of this knowledge – we’d like to see more degrees in entertainment technology – and some operators are making tie-ups with research teams in universities to the benefit of both. And when graduates come onto the job market with vital skills in these areas, we must make sure they make their way into our industry to help us exploit this rich source of new ideas and technology.

Liz Terry, editorial director, Attractions Management Handbook liz@leisuremedia.com @elizterry


Originally published in Attractions Handbook 2014 issue 1

Published by The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © Cybertrek Ltd