A new resource compiled by IAAPA EMEA focuses on communicating the importance of the attractions industry throughout Europe, and the sector’s long history of creating jobs, driving revenue, and supporting tourism.
IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, continues to work alongside members around the world to help them prepare to reopen and operate as COVID-19 conditions begin to improve.
IAAPA EMEA, the association’s regional office based in Belgium, developed the new resource to tell the story of the industry in Europe and to encourage government leaders to support the full recovery of the attractions, hospitality, and tourism sectors so these segments can once again provide the significant economic contributions to the regions they serve.
To help government authorities, and local communities, understand the need for swift action in support of the attractions industry, IAAPA EMEA partnered with European-based industry members to develop a critical list of actions that will help the sector move forward on the path to recovery. Outlined examples include:
- Extended employment support
- Financial aid to help operators deal with liquidity and fixed business costs
- Vaccination passport standards
- Harmonised travel restrictions
- Defining parks and location-based leisure activities as part of the tourism industry
- Including tourism in national recovery plans
- Improving infrastructure and mobility throughout the region
In addition, the resource reinforces the attractions industry’s commitment to the safety of guests and employees by reinforcing the work that went into creating the “COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: Considerations for the Global Attractions Industry” document, first published by IAAPA in July 2020. The detailed document supports attractions facilities as they seek to reopen with new operating protocols and procedures in place. Now in its Third Edition and continually updated in partnership with attractions industry leaders from around the world and in consultation with medical professionals and health-related guidance from governmental agencies, the guidance is a valuable resource.
The guidelines have been referenced globally by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in their Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism, and the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) in their Attractions: Global Protocols for the New Normal resource. This guidance continues to aid members as they develop plans, and serves as a complement to the guidance and health protocols local communities have recommended for safe business operation.
“We understand all business sectors have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Jakob Wahl, executive director and vice president, IAAPA EMEA. “However, the attractions industry has been overlooked as governments address support for business sectors as they prepare to reopen. We are ready to return to business, while operating with enhanced public health measures in place. Our members encourage local ministers to visit attractions and amusement parks to see for themselves the many steps we have taken as we ready to rehire, return to business and once again, provide leisure activities for guests throughout Europe.”
The attractions industry has deep historical roots in European communities and includes many family-owned businesses that began operation more than a century ago. According to IAAPA’s most recent economic impact study, throughout Europe, the industry generated revenues of €29.6 billion, contributing €3.43 billion in tax and supporting 85,115 direct and 170,382 indirect jobs in 2018.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will leave a lasting, negative impact—not only on the companies that are part of the attractions industry—but also to Europe’s overall important tourism and hospitality industry for several years to come. By addressing the needs the sector has identified, and by continuing to communicate with local operators, IAAPA EMEA believes decision makers can help ensure a safe, successful return to fun.
The full “Restarting and Returning to Growth” document can be downloaded here.