PARKS: Survey reveals customer peeves

Some 75 per cent of UK consumers say queuing for rides and attractions is the chief frustration whenever they visit a theme park, a survey by Omnico has found.

Queuing to order food and drink is the next biggest gripe, chosen by 29 per cent of the 687 UK consumers questioned by Omnico for new research, the Omnico Theme Park Barometer, which explores attitudes among those who have visited a theme park within the last two years.
“The British pride themselves on their willingness to queue in an orderly fashion,” said Mel Taylor, CEO of Omnico. “Yet even among patient Brits we can see there is a real desire for theme park operators to use technology to make visits more convenient. Expectations are rising and visitors want everything to be joined seamlessly so their families can enjoy an entirely trouble-free visit.”
The survey said 70 per cent of UK respondents think interactive park maps would make their visits more convenient, while 60 per cent want to be able to pay without using cash. The same percentage (60 per cent) also said being able to order souvenirs and merchandise in advance would make visits easier, along with receiving notifications via a smartphone or tablet app, informing them, for example, that a hotel room is ready.
More than half of UK visitors (57 per cent) said a personalised itinerary within a park mobile app would be a real advantage, while 55 per cent want to use phone or tablet apps to access real-time information and make bookings for rides or restaurants. Perhaps reflecting a traditional British obsession, 57 per cent of respondents also said their visit would be improved if before enjoying open-air rides they had access to real-time advice about the changing weather.
The research also revealed the opportunities for theme park operators and retailers if they are prepared to invest in technology. Some 68 per cent of UK respondents, for example, said they would spend more on merchandise if they had the option of having it delivered to their hotel or home address, rather than having to carry it around.
UK visitors are also increasingly open to new technology, with 34 per cent saying they would like to use virtual reality to help choose rides.
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