The ongoing virus pandemic has caused global tourism to grind to a halt, but at least one industry expert says than now is the time for theme parks and attractions to “keep moving forward.” TEA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Frank Stanek, an executive advisor with The Producers Group (TPG), recently released a white paper urging entertainment developers to continue with their planning and design projects in anticipation of an eventual recovery.
In his open letter to TPG’s clients and partners, who have included major players like Disney and Universal, Stanek says that “now is not the time to regress or ‘pull-back’ from moving forward with projects that are tourism, entertainment or visitor-related. In fact, this is an ideal time to continue the development of well thought out projects, having attractive, market appealing concepts, sound business plans, and execution strategy.”
Citing a history of higher growth within 6 to 24 months after a major disruption or downturn, Stanek observes that there are “certain positive advantages to keep ‘moving forward,’ so to speak, when all seemed to be collapsing around us,” and predicts that “the current health and financial uncertainty will run through its cycle and in most cases, it will be of short duration but certainly, the situation will improve, financial markets will return to positive growth, health issues will be managed and solutions found and tourism & attraction visitation will return to normal dynamics.”
In the meantime, Frank Stanek recommends that “in these uncertain times those who move forward with their projects will gain the initiative over those who wait and be positioned to capture more than their market share when the cycle of uncertainty ends and tourism and visitor growth returns.”
Currently, concerns over the virus have halted construction at many attractions, including all of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. However, progress still continues on several projects at Universal Orlando, including the yet-unannounced Jurassic Park roller coaster.