Sabine Lehmann, our AAVEA president, attended IAAPA EMEA’s current state of the FEC (family entertainment centre) industry live chat on Monday 14 September 2020.
These are Sabine’s key takeaways from the session:
- We are all in this together and there is no “one size fits all” approach to COVID19 operational regulations: IAAPA EMEA represents attractions across Europe Middle East and Africa.What is clear is that ALL attractions have been affected and there is no consistency as to what the status quo is at the moment, nor is there consistency as to how attractions should operate under COVID19 protocols.
- Reopened attractions balances out with closed ones: A quick poll revealed that 50% of sites had reopened to the public – and 50% were still closed.
- Outdoor FECs are faring better: Outdoor FECs seem to have fared better than indoor ones which is to be expected as visitors are more comfortable with sufficient space and concept of “fresh air” , with some outdoor FECs seeing up to 30% increase in demand compared to the same month last year. Indoor FECs are faring worse – with most seeing between 25% to 50% of pre-COVID demand. in the UK, indoor attractions are running between 25% to 40% pre-COVID19 numbers.
- Youth market is the target: FECs that appeal to young adults appear to be faring the best.
- Family market is struggling: FECs that appeal to very young children with grand parents are really struggling with take up as low as 10%.
- Visitor spending is up: What is noticeable across the board is that the per-capita spending is up. Visitors who are prepared to go out are also willing to spend money at attractions.
- Maintain entry fees: Very few attractions have implemented reopening specials, preferring to rather add value to the deal.
- Relearning on the job: Everyday is a learning day as you run your site under new dynamics.
- Technological advancements are key: Tech changes that usually take 3 years have now happened in 3 months ( online ticket sales etc).
- Do the bare minimum: As in review all minimum requirements for your reopening. Keep staff and visitor numbers to the minimum – it’s a whole new world!
The next IAAPA EMEA FEC live chat will be held in October. Follow them on Twitter for updates.