Immersive, sustainable and meeting evolving expectations – outgoing IAAPA chair David Rosenberg on the future of the attractions industry
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Immersive, sustainable and meeting evolving expectations – outgoing IAAPA chair David Rosenberg on the future of the attractions industry

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It's been a busy, exciting and often inspiring year for David Rosenberg as IAAPA chair.

As he prepares to step down from the role to make way for the incoming Amanda Thompson, Rosenberg, who is vice president of guest experience at Monterey Bay Aquarium, has reflected on connections he made, progress achieved and the nature of the industry he has served over the past year.

Having identified sustainability as a key challenge to address, Rosenberg told Attractions Management he was proud to have served on the industry's Sustainability Task Force this year and was gratified that IAAPA's board of directors had approved its request to become an ongoing committee, ensuring it remains a key focus.

"I’ve continued to be a part of the industry-based, global conversations about embracing sustainability," said Rosenberg. "Clearly, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than a buzzword – it's made its way into more business plans than ever before. Industry-wide, more and more of us recognise that a commitment to sustainability is about more than just embracing green initiatives – it’s about meeting our guests’ growing expectations that we not only continue to be fun places to visit, but also an industry-wide force for good."

The increasing importance of immersive experiences in the attractions industry is something that has struck Rosenberg during his tenure.

"For years, the industry has talked about creating immersive attractions and experiences, and I think we see that now more than ever," he said. "The full story is told as guests journey through retail areas, or stop for food and beverage. Theming, imagination, innovation, technology and storytelling are all coming together in new ways."

Meeting so many attractions industry people throughout his year as chair of IAAPA has given Rosenberg a clear view of the levels of creativity and passion that he believes sets the industry apart. "I often felt I was with people who had found their 'true calling'," he said. "It was inspiring."

Looking to the years ahead, Rosenberg said that the industry must understand and react to the ripples caused by evolving guest expectations, especially from the millennial generation.

"It’s important we understand that these expectations are changing and that we’re able to react and adjust in a timely manner," he said. "We must strive to be proactive by understanding guest behaviour, needs and expectations and understand how to design, create and enhance our facilities to meet these needs."

For more from David Rosenberg and the incoming IAAPA chair, Amanda Thompson, see the latest issue of Attractions Management, available now.

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It's been a busy, exciting and often inspiring year for David Rosenberg as IAAPA chair.
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