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UK amusement parks and museums see strong growth as millennial consumers seek new experiences

by Growthdeck Team

5 November 2018


Our latest research has revealed that the Top UK amusement parks and private museums* have seen average turnover grow 4.8% and 3.5% respectively in the last year as millennial consumers increasingly look for new experiences in their time off.

The growth rates of the Top amusement parks and museums have outpaced current UK GDP growth, which grew just 1.2% in 2017-18. A key driver for the strong growth of amusement parks and museums is the increased importance that millennials place on experiences in their time off. The Millennial Generation are spending more time and money on cultural and live events as well as local attractions. A recently released study showed that 53% of UK millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than a material possession.**

Examples of attractions that have performed well in the past year include:

  • Roarr! Dinosaur Park, the dinosaur-based theme park in Norfolk, saw turnover grow 28% in the last year
  • Flamingo Land, the Yorkshire theme park, zoo and resort, had a 12% growth in turnover
  • The London Transport Museum, based in Covent Garden saw turnover increase 5%

In addition to a growing generational trend preferring experiences, individuals are also increasingly taking ‘staycations’ within the UK.

Recent figures from VisitEngland show 59 million domestic holidays were taken in 2017, up 6% from 2016. The UK tourism and visitor sector already represents the UK’s sixth-largest industry, with over 6,000 attractions generating £3.3 billion in sales in 2017.***

We have recently launched a £550,000 investment opportunity in eTicketing business WebTicketManager. It provides online, white-labelled ticketing services to visitor attractions and events across the UK and Europe. Attractions and organisers are able to manage their own ticketing process and sell directly through their own websites.

As a result, there is growing demand from tourist, travel and hospitality organisations to promote local experiences as part of the ‘sharing economy.’ Purchasing tickets for attractions online has now become the norm for many customers, however around 20% of visitor attractions still don’t offer this service.

WebTicketManager also enables attractions to promote themselves via other valuable channels, including tourist information centres, hotels, airports and transport providers.

Our Investment Director, Steve Talbot, shares his thoughts:

“Individuals, especially millennials, now place greater emphasis on experiences than many in previous generations. Consumers are increasingly looking to explore local areas, particularly those off the beaten track, often on short getaways.”

“The twin trends of the growing popularity of local events and attractions and the increase in more people taking staycations is a positive for businesses in the leisure industry."

“Growing interest in visiting local attractions is, in many ways, part of the growing social emphasis on the ‘sharing economy’ where individuals rent or borrow goods rather than buy them outright. Even companies such as Airbnb are now spending more on expanding their city guides and highlighting what local attractions are in the area.”

“There is now increased demand for those websites that make it easier for consumers to find local events and attractions and book trips to them. As a result, the eTicketing market is entering a new phase of growth. WebTicketManager is well-placed to take advantage of this growth. It is the only business in the market currently that combines a proven tech offering, a multi-channel sales approach and a realistic pricing structure for the local attraction operators.”

Amusement parks and museums see strong average growth in the past year as consumers look for new experiences
Sector Total turnover 2016-2017
Total turnover 2015-2016
Average percentage growth
Top 20 UK amusement parks
£1.79 bn £1.65 bn 4.8%
Top 20 UK museums
£0.12 bn £0.14 bn 3.5%
Top 20 UK cinemas
£1.59 bn £1.48 bn 0.9%

* Top 20 for each category, does not include public museums such as the British Museum
** Inkling
*** Kantar

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