65% of visitors expect virtual reality in theme parks within 3 years

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New research reveals that 65% of consumers in the UK, US and China expect virtual reality to be part of their experience when they visit a theme park in the next three years, a survey by Omnico has found.

Virtual reality

The findings featured in the first Omnico Theme Park Barometer exploring the interactions and predictions of more than 2000 visitors to a destination resort or theme park in the US, UK and China.

In the research, which asked visitors to select from a list of fast-developing technologies, 62% of guests in the US and UK and 70% in China predict that in three years’ time, theme parks will be using virtual reality technology for both entertainment and visitor-guidance.

Voice-activated mobile apps (41% overall) and personal digital assistants (38% overall) were the next most popular choices.

Far more respondents in China, however, (51%) think 3D printing will be used to produce personal merchandise, than in the US and UK (29%).  

Robotic personal assistants are also seen as more likely to make an appearance in China (49%) than in the US and UK (22%).

“With so much innovation in the home, it is hardly surprising that visitors now expect theme parks to adopt cutting edge technology to provide enhanced experiences and levels of service,” said Mel Taylor, CEO, Omnico Group.

“These types of technology will not only provide new forms of entertainment, they will assist visitors with finding their way around and help with queue-reduction and crowd-management.”

In other findings, a third of all respondents (33%) in the US, UK and China expect to see augmented reality games at theme parks and 27% foresee that electronic wristbands may be replaced by temporary tattoo tickets.  

virtual reality

 Overall the top three guest experiences, as chosen by respondents in the Barometer when asked what technology they would like to use in the future when visiting a theme park or resort, were to have the ability to pre-book the entire trip (89%), choose a limited number of specific deals relevant to that visitor (85%), and have the ability to buy anything using a cashless device (82%).

“The results of our Theme Park barometer show that theme parks and resorts that rest on their laurels will be left behind in the face of rapidly-increasing visitor expectations around the use of technology,” added Taylor. “Investing in customer service and experience is as important as putting money into new attractions.”

“While tastes and requirements vary in different parts of the world, visitors are united in wanting operators to integrate technology so they can have an enjoyable and memorable experience. This does not require major investment in completely new solutions, but intelligent integration.”

Lauretta blogs and vlogs at HomeAndHorizon.com