KOCHI: Weekend crowds at amusement parks could be misleading. According to promoters, the sector is going through a rough patch with foot falls declining as much as 30 per cent in the current season (September-April). They say that the growth, which was projected to be at 10-20 per cent for the next
four years, may be clipped due to the slowdown.
“After November 8, there was a block created in the minds of people preventing them from spending for activities other than essential ones. This has affected the amusement park industry in the country. We thought that the worst will be over by March.
Unfortunately, we could not find any increase in footfalls even in April—usually a peak season—which is quite surprising. Our park had received around three lakh annual foot falls including two lakh children in the past. But this year, the foot falls are down by at least 30,000,” said A I Shalimar, managing director, Silver Storm Water Theme Park at Athirappilly.
The amusement park industry in the country is worth about Rs 3,000 crore. Earlier estimates had pegged industry growth at 19 per cent till 2021, touching Rs 6,980 crore as consumers were expected to spend more on leisure activities.
“Factors such as big film releases and even cricket matches will affect footfalls in amusement parks in the country. Demonetisation was another reason which affected the sector as people were reluctant to spend. We hope that with the latest investment on existing parks, more people will come into our parks,” said Arun K Chittilappilly, managing director, Wonderla Holidays, which has parks in Bengaluru, Kochi, and Hyderabad.
The Indian theme park industry grew at 10.25 per cent in 2016 to touch Rs 2,930 crore, up from Rs 2,660 crore in 2015, according to a KPMG report. Some of the major parks includes Adlabs Imagica (Mumbai), Wonderla and Ramoji Film City (Hyderabad), With declining interest from customers, amusement parks are now adding more rides and excitements to regain the ‘amusement’ factor.