At a press conference this morning in Barcelona, Spain, held today, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced its intention to relocate the organization’s global headquarters to the Greater Orlando area during 2017, and keep their annual Expo in Orlando through 2030.
IAAPA is the international trade organization that represents theme park attraction manufacturers and other members of the amusement industry. Each fall, they hold an IAAPA Attractions Expo showing off the latest products and inventions in the theme park business. As part of this announced move, IAAPA has also pledged to host its IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando for an additional five years beyond its original 2025 commitment through 2030, bringing an estimated economic impact (during 2010 to 2030) of more than $1 billion to Orange County and the State of Florida.
“IAAPA is the global organization that supports and connects attractions industry professionals from around the world and although we’ve done so successfully for almost 100 years, it’s now time to look ahead and form our vision for the next 100 years,” said John McReynolds 2016 IAAPA Chairman of the Board and Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Universal Parks and Resorts.
“I cannot think of a better place to build our future than in Orlando, the theme park and attractions capital of the world,” McReynolds added. “Our new headquarters will become a global gathering place where industry leaders will connect to conduct business, learn from each other, address challenges, and imagine the attractions that will put smiles on people’s faces for many years to come.”
“In an effort to keep up with the rapid growth of the global attractions industry over the past 10 years, we have expanded our regional offices, increased the products and services we offer our members, added staff, expanded our training and professional development programs, and hosted record-breaking trade shows around the world. We have outgrown our headquarters office so now is the time to put infrastructure in place to support the association and the industry for the future,” said IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland.
“As the most visited destination in the U.S. and theme park capital of the world, Orlando is the epicenter of tourism activity and creativity,” said George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “We welcome the IAPPA team and know they will feel right at home. Their commitment to headquarter both the association and annual show in Orlando is a testament to the powerful mix of industry leaders, businesses, and talent that reside here, and will shine an even greater spotlight on our destination’s resources.”
“IAAPA represents what everyone knows about Orlando – we have a thriving theme park industry,” said David Fuller, Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) chair. “How appropriate that they are now part of our regional narrative that tells the story of our growing number of company headquarters locating here because of our outstanding assets and business climate.”
For more information about IAAPA, watch our coverage of the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo in this episode of Attractions The Show: