IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, celebrated the rebound of the Italian attractions market with the IAAPA EMEA Spring Summit from May 11-13. The three-day event showcased insightful panels, keynote presentations, and networking opportunities in Cinecittà World, MagicLand and Zoomarine. This year’s event aligned with the ongoing return to normal operations across Italy and Europe after a two-year struggle due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health incident.
More than 90 attendees took advantage of this in-person industry opportunity, including exhibitors from companies in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“As we get back to business as usual, it is critical for our industry partners and IAAPA EMEA members to experience in-person learning and networking again,” said Peter van der Schans, Executive Director and Vice President for the EMEA region. “One major goal for our association is to connect members to one another to support smart growth and development goals that ultimately benefit the entire global attractions industry.”
Hosting the Summit in Rome reflects the changing landscape for the Italian attractions market. Historically, the industry has been concentrated in the north of Italy. In the last decade, however, the industry has expanded its footprint with new attractions and amusements also opening in Rome.
“The leisure industry must be innovative in order to offer to its guests always more engaging experiences, and IAAPA helps to distribute, share and grow the overall knowledge and best practices,” said Stefano Cigarini, Chief Executive Officer of Cinecittà World. “With this in mind Cinecittà World is moving forward from a single park to a multi-park destination resort, adding a second gate, the new Roma World theme Park, where guests live one day as Ancient Romans.”
Dr. Renato Lenzi, Chief Operating Officer of The Dolphin Company, which owns Zoomarine, said theme park entertainment is an important resource with more than 2,000 people employed in the industry in the Lazio Region.
“This extremely important event is the opportunity to foster exchange of knowledge, expertise and valuable standards for the theme park industry in Europe,” said Dr. Lenzi. “Zoomarine is excited and proud to be part of this learning and exchange opportunity between theme parks operators and also remark the importance of Rome and Lazio Region in the biggest scheme of growth of theme parks in Europe.”
Prior to the pandemic, 20 million Italians annually visited a park.
Known for its history, culture and religion, Rome’s up-and-coming modern attractions sector has become a complement to the historical profile and richness of the destination. IAAPA EMEA partners not only continue to expand their geographical reach, but also invest in their existing attractions.
“We are very proud for having hosted the international event of the entertainment industry,” said Guido Zucchi, Chief Executive Officer of MagicLand & Acquaworld. “2022 represents a key year for our park. Huge investments resulted in great new attractions like ‘Wild Rodeo,’ a Giant Frisbee that is unique in Italy and a very big themed area ‘Far West’ of more than 5,000 square meters for all-around fun. We work with a view to continuous renewal, to confirm ourselves as the largest theme park in Central Southern Italy, the unmissable and unbeatable destination for entertainment.”