Friday, September 24, 2021

Editorial: Finding paths forward during uncertain times

by Martin Palicki, InPark Magazine publisher

Navigating the first half of 2020 has been difficult for everyone. Uncertainty over isolation, global travel bans, civil unrest and massive layoffs are just a few of the factors that are impacting decision makers around the world.

The long-term effects on travel and entertainment remain to be seen. Still, many parks and attractions are reopening; there is a clear group of people ready to get out and consume experiences again.

The industry is resilient, and our companies are populated by creative thinkers and problem solvers. Just in the last two months, leaders have identified ways to minimize risk and earn the public’s trust. Even so, it all seems so fragile, as though one major incident could clamp down the gates for even longer.

Also challenging are the issues surrounding systemic racism and the enormous disparities that go along with it. It may not feel like your problem, but we are likely on the verge of a social shift that will impact every company’s interaction with law enforcement, security, recruiting, marketing and more. The wise business owner will act not only because the winds are changing, but because it is the ethical and socially just action to take.

At InPark we have adjusted our process as a result of the industry dynamics. This issue, normally focused on TEA Thea award recipients, has been transformed to include more pandemic related features. Our next issue, out later this summer, will have an international focus and also feature our Thea content. Online, we have been reporting on COVID-19 since parks in Asia first started closing and we continue to provide information and resources as everyone continues to work through these issues.

We’ve also evaluated our priorities. We have always endeavored to appreciate and elevate a diverse community of voices. Listening to a wider body helps reduce confirmation bias and opens up an organization to broader and healthier growth. We pledge to work even harder towards fulfilling that commitment.

Finally, without reserve we declare that WE MISS YOU. Calls just aren’t the same and we look forward to the time when we can see you again in person. In the meantime, we hope you will find this issue enjoyable, relevant and useful.

IMAGE: Shanghai Haichang Ocean World/Shanghai Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau

Joe Kleimanhttp://www.themedreality.com
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe has been News Editor and contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, and MiceChat. His blog, ThemedReality.com takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @themedreality Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his fiancé, two dogs, and a ghost.

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