22 Aug 2019 Attractions Management Handbook
 

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Attractions Management Handbook - Our planet’s future – be bold

Editor's letter

Our planet’s future – be bold


Although there’s plenty of cause for alarm, it’s not too late to change our course. How can you steer your attraction in the right direction?

Helen Patenall, Leisure Media

Understanding the impact that human actions are having on the sustainability of our planet is influencing how we’re choosing to spend our spare time. Operators canny enough to adopt ecologically sound practices and hatch thought-provoking exhibitions – which are informative, interactive and fun – offer our increasingly savvy visitors of all generations both an entertaining and erudite day out with their friends and family.

This edition’s Developing Pipeline features many such stand-out projects. In New Zealand, the forthcoming Napier National Aquarium is set to become “an eco-tourism destination of major significance”, and “guests will learn more about apex predators and their importance to our ocean” at the new shark gallery at Georgia Aquarium in the US. In response to mounting pressure on cetacean captivity, a programme at Vancouver Aquarium in Canada will educate visitors on healthier oceans. In the Middle East, at National Geographic’s Ocean Odyssey, deep-sea explorers will share their stories while gaming challenges will put visitors at the centre of cleaning up the oceans, encouraging them to take an individual pledge.

Science centre operators are embracing this deeply aware and receptive visitor mindset too, with Abdul Kalam Science City in India “encouraging the participation of locals and Bihari diaspora in engaging activities to develop scientific temperament”. Closer to home, in the UK, the second Eureka! site “will open the eyes of parents and young people, showing them how anyone from any background can go on to change and transform the world”.

Although these forthcoming attractions are on the case, we must applaud those that are one step ahead. Museon in the Netherlands invites visitors to contribute their ideas and proceed to action – making themselves “heroes on our planet”. WAZA members are on the road to eliminating single-use plastic and using only certified sustainable palm oil. For the future of our planet, let’s hope that even more attractions get on board.


Originally published in Attractions Handbook 2018 edition

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