Theme Index: Waterparks continue to flow as global attendance increases among world's elite
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In an unusual alignment, theme park attendance grew by roughly 4 per cent in all major markets, while waterparks’ attendance rose at 2.5 per cent globally
– John Robinett

Attendance at the world's major waterparks continues to grow, with nearly 31 million people visiting the top waterparks globally in 2018.

According to the latest edition of the TEA/AECOM Theme and Museum Index, waterpark attendance rose by 2.5 per cent last year, with 30.92 million people visiting one of the world's top 20 most attended waterparks.

Chimelong Water Park continues to be the world's most visited, with 2.74 million people coming through its gates in 2018 – a 1.9 per cent increase on its record-breaking 2017.

Much like its theme parks, Disney had a strong showing in the waterparks sector, with attendance rises of 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, with the two waterparks in Orlando, Florida, ranking second and third on the list with 2.27 million and 2 million visitors.

There were significant gains for three theme parks on the list, Volcano Bay, Therme Erding and Wuhu Fantawild. Volcano Bay in Orlando enjoyed the largest gains, with an additional 225,000 visitors enjoying the waterpark – a 15 per cent increase year-on-year to 1.725 million visitors. Therme Erding in Germany is Europe's most-visited waterpark, with a 13.6 per cent rise in visitors to 1.5 million people. Wuhu Fantawild in China also saw a major rise, with its 1.36 million visitors for the year representing a 13.3 per cent rise in guests.

"In an unusual alignment, theme park attendance grew by roughly 4 per cent in all major markets, while waterparks’ attendance rose at 2.5 per cent globally," said John Robinett, senior vice president of economics at AECOM.

"We've observed a number of phenomena that have led to this and other strong years’ performance in the business. These include the addition of second gates, the continued leveraging of blockbuster IP’s, and the building of resort hotels adjacent to park properties."

North America and the EMEA regions showed particularly strong growth in attendance, with a 5.8 per cent increase in North America to 16.237 million visitors, while EMA rose by 6.7 per cent to 10.275 million visitors.

To read the full report, click here.

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Attendance at the world's major waterparks continues to grow, with nearly 31 million people visiting the top waterparks globally in 2018.
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