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Theme Index: Brazil and China making a splash as waterparks attendance rises

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waterparks worldwide enjoyed a fruitful 2016, with combined attendance among the top 20 increasing to nearly 30 million, according to the TEA/AECOM Theme Index

A collaboration of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at AECOM, the 11th TEA/AECOM Theme Index is an annual study of global attractions attendance, looking at theme parks, theme park groups, waterparks and museums.

Across the world’s top 20 most-visited waterparks, attendance increased 3.6 per cent between 2015 and 2016, with cumulative attendance of 29.68 million, up from 28.66 million the year previously.

The waterparks sector performed particularly strongly in Asia last year, with 6.9 per cent overall growth in 2016.

Chimelong in Guangzhou, China, retains the title of world’s most-attended waterpark, with a 7.9 per cent increase year-on-year, up from 2.35 million visitors in 2015 to 2.54 million in 2016. The 20th ranked park, Wuhu Fantawild, experienced the largest attendance increase in terms of percentage, with a 44.6 per cent leap from 708,000 when it opened in 2015 to 1.02 million in 2016.

China was generally strong for waterparks, with increased visitor numbers or flat performance recorded despite a significant increase in new facilities – as many as 50, according to the Index.

Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach waterparks in Orlando finished second and third respectively, with attendance declines of 0.7 and 0.8 per cent to 2.28 million and 2.09 million last year.

Brazil in general last year benefited from a growth in domestic tourism. Due to ongoing macroeconomic challenges in the country, fewer Brazilians traveled to Orlando in 2016, a market that Florida’s parks have traditionally counted on for attendance figures.

The loss for Orlando however has been Brazil’s gain, with the economic climate combined with a facility expansion driving Olimpia’s Thermas Dos Laranjais to fourth in the overall list. During 2016, visitor numbers at the waterpark increased 11.2 per cent, with the attraction welcoming 1.96 million people up from 1.76 million in 2015. Similar attendance increases were seen at Brazil’s other listed waterparks, with 10th place Hot Park Rio Quente in Caldas Novas increasing attendance by 7.2 per cent to 1.38 million and 18th place Beach Park in Aquiraz increasing attendance by 7.6 per cent to 1.04 million.

For theme parks, it was a mixed year, with overall visitor numbers among the top 25 parks declining by 1.1 per cent. For more, click here.

To read the full TEA/AECOM Theme Index click here.

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Waterparks worldwide enjoyed a fruitful 2016, with combined attendance among the top 20 increasing to nearly 30 million, according to the TEA/AECOM Themed Index Report

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