Martin Palicki, IPM publisher
Times have changed since theme parks and museums first started welcoming guests primarily from their local communities. Nowadays, a museum guest could well be visiting from another continent, bringing with them a host of different life experiences and values. We truly are living in a global village of entertainment and tourism.
This shrinking of the globe necessitates introspection – hopefully we see things with a wider, clearer perspective. That’s why, today, we question things that formerly may have seemed benign. We take a fresh, more critical look at the bride auction scene in the original Pirates attraction, or why a park in the American South might consign the Confederate flag to history.
It’s a natural evolution of our industry and one we should embrace for what it has to teach us about our own biases and perceptions. It’s about accessibility, inclusion and diversity. Moving forward, as the storytellers and creators of experiences, we must remember that representation matters. How people, places and events are depicted can influence how guests experience what we create. Let’s try to be as welcoming to people as possible.
Judith Rubin, IPM editor
As an industry connector, InPark tends to look at the visitor attractions business from the project viewpoint. Where is the work? Who are the players? What are the trends?
But we all know that a truly successful project is one that has an audience that grows year over year, and a positive economic impact on its community. It must enhance its location as a destination. If it is successful, it will likely also be influential.
In this issue, we’ve explored a number of projects that promise to help transform their regions as catalysts of construction, business, tourism, job creation, cultural identity and civic pride – in addition to raising the bar for creative and technical innovation. That’s what the best projects do. Their benefits are felt on the local, regional and international scale.
We hope you enjoy and learn from our exploration of Dubai Expo 2020, Universal Studios Beijing, the National Comedy Center, Liberty Science Center, the St. Louis Aquarium and more.