Please note that this article was created by Scott Best and is in accordance with our disclosure policy
With such a large and diverse landscape, America is many peoples number one holiday destination. There aren’t many countries you can be on the beach in the morning and on the slopes the same afternoon. However for America this isn’t even abnormal, with several coastal states having easily accessible mountain ranges. This is indicative of America as a whole, whereby the size and economic strength of the country allows it to not only utilise its vast and varying landscapes to draw tourists, but also give them the ability to build large man made attractions in order to create unique experiences which in turn attract tourists.
For many people, Las Vegas is the epitome of these man-made tourist beacons. A new city sprung from the desert built purely to attract tourists and make money. A greater example however, can be seen in Orlando and California in the form of Disneyworld and Universal Studios respectively. With both companies attracting over 72.9 Million visitors combined in 2015.
Generally, 2015 was a really good year for the film industry. Especially the mega-blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, which is already sitting on $2.05 billion worth of box office receipts. However the actual film is simply the first step on to the profit ladder for many studios. Instead it’s the after-sales of games, branding and merchandise that really generate income. Using the films popularity to create products and attractions that draw in film fans way after they’ve made first contact with the franchise.
This isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, for any film lover it’s amazing to be able to visit the mecca of movies. Allowing fans to see behind the scenes and interact with various aspects of the movies emotionally attracts your audience, and this is the key to maintaining a strong franchise. Not only this, but it gives the amusement parks much more scope to expand in line with the Studios movie catalogue.
Take the massive success of Harry Potter for example. Since 2010 the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando has contributed over 1.2 million visitors yearly to 8 Million combined visitors it receives across all its attractions. A considerable market share when taken into account, and justification for Universal to open a bigger, better Harry Potter World at Universal Hollywood next April. Where visitors can explore the secrets of Hogwarts, visit the shops of Hogsmeade and meet many old characters from the movies.
With Universals market share growing however. Can we expect Disney to follow suit with their vast Marvel Franchise? Currently Comic heroes are quite underrepresented in Disney World. Especially when you consider they take up a large proportion of Disney’s latest film releases. This however, can be seen as due to the transition period Disney are under-going. Whereby they are making themselves more accessible to an older audience. Away from their traditional cartoon characters and instead having a larger role for the multi-generation characters such as Luke Skywalker.
Currently, both Disney & Universal are going from strength to strength. The sheer size and financial might of each studio means they are able to instantly capitalize on any film success and convert those seats in cinemas to seats on rides. Such as with the hugely popular Jurassic World & Fast & Furious rides that appeared not long after the massive box office success of each film. This works as a fantastic growth model as it allows them to only introduce attractions with a pre-established audience.
As a tourist attraction, Disney & Universal are luckily in a business full of endless expansion. Through which Disney & Universal are showing no signs of slowing down. With this mind, the future seems bright for movie lovers as the respective companies fight to create America’s most popular family tourist attraction. A move which undoubtedly makes each attraction more appealing to tourists.
Images credit: Pixabay