Summary of our market study

The leisure park market, which encompasses amusement and theme parks, water parks, animal parks and indoor playgrounds, is a dynamic sector, illustrated by the fact that France is one of Europe's leading destinations. With a strong presence of international players such as Disneyland Paris, Parc Astérix and Puy du Fou, the market is thriving thanks to ongoing investment in existing facilities, with innovation through new technologies such as virtual reality shaping the future of the industry. Digital transformation is key, with parks increasingly adopting mobile applications to enhance the visitor experience.

The market is also grappling with seasonality, with efforts to diversify the customer base through professional events. Indoor playgrounds are expanding rapidly, with a trend towards franchising and activities such as bowling and escape games. Despite the lack of concrete figures for 2020 onwards, the theme park market is showing a positive trend, with a worldwide market of almost 501.2 million visitors, an increase of 5.4% on the previous year. the previous year, indicating that the sector is a crucial part of the tourism and entertainment industries with potential for further expansion underpinned by digital innovations and enhanced experience.

Sustained growth and technology-driven improvements in the French theme park market

The French theme park market is a robust and thriving sector in the country's tourism landscape. Attracting between 65 and 75 million visitors a year and generating revenues of around €2 billion, it testifies to the continuing appetite of local and international tourists for entertainment experiences. A significant share of this revenue, almost 50%, is attributed to the iconic Disneyland Paris, which welcomes between 15 and 20 million visitors every year.

The key to the industry's success is the relentless drive for innovation and technological advances. Parks are investing not only in infrastructure expansion, but also in digital transformation to enhance the guest experience. Cutting-edge attractions, such as virtual reality experiences, are becoming commonplace, while mobile apps are being developed to offer fluid navigation, catering services and more interactive engagement. This digitization goes beyond the park visit itself, fostering an extended relationship with consumers through pre-visit plans, post-visit feedback and e-commerce businesses for merchandise collection.

The substantial and ongoing investment in the sector is a clear indicator of its potential and ambition. With annual spending of 300 to 400 million euros on new attractions and facility improvements, it's clear that the sector's leaders are determined to maintain and improve their market position. Another strategic maneuver seen in the market is the diversification of offerings through "resortization" - the integration of accommodation options designed to extend visitors' stays. Here, the spectrum extends from cost-effective camping solutions to luxury hotels and unusual accommodations such as stilt lodges - aimed at increasing spending per visitor. Even though the market is experiencing a high level of saturation, ambitious projects continue to emerge. Public bodies see these developments as opportunities for regional economic growth and employment. With each new entrant striving to attract enough visitors to be viable, it's clear that the sector's robust dynamics are stimulating the ongoing birth of new concepts within leisure parks.

The revenue models of these leisure destinations vary considerably, with Disneyland Paris surpassing the others in terms of revenue per person. The various revenue streams - from ticket sales to food, beverages, merchandise and professional services - contribute to the overall financial health of the market. The French theme park market continues to evolve, as do the demands placed on it. Increased competition, both nationally and in neighboring countries, is keeping players on their toes. There is room for improvement, particularly in areas such as accommodation, where their current modest contribution to overall spending is perceived as a potential source of growth.

Industry players: Focus on players in the French leisure park market

The French leisure park market is booming, characterized by a cosmopolitan mix of international and local players who are attracting attention with their captivating offerings. Each market player brings a distinct approach, competing for the enthusiasm of French and international visitors alike, contributing to France's reputation as Europe's leisure park mecca.

  • Disneyland Paris - France's dream-maker Disneyland Paris is the pinnacle of fun, not only in France but throughout Europe. This iconic destination, which opened in 1992, embodies the quintessential Disney experience with its blend of traditional rides and unique Disney magic. Thanks to ongoing investment in expanding its domain with record-breaking attractions and a commitment to incorporating high-tech advances, Disneyland Paris has cemented itself as half of the heart of France's leisure industry.
  • Parc Astérix - French-style fun Parc Astérix, which brings the legendary French comic strip series to life, is an excellent example of thematic ingenuity infused with local culture. Celebrating all things Gallic, this park invites visitors on a humorous, historical journey, packed with rides and shows. The park's commitment to thrilling attractions and entertaining shows has earned it a place among the titans of the industry, drawing visitors into its unique French experience.
  • Puy du Fou - The theatrical tapestry Puy du Fou, a show of French excellence, offers a narrative adventure that takes visitors into the annals of history. Renowned for its spectacular shows that blend history, culture and emotion, this park transcends traditional entertainment by emphasizing immersive storytelling. Le Puy du Fou is an emblem of the market's diversity, illustrating the profound potential of themed entertainment.
  • Futuroscope - Focusing on the future By embracing cutting-edge technologies, Futuroscope positions itself at the forefront of innovative leisure experiences. By offering attractions that exploit virtual reality and other modern marvels, the park attracts a tech-savvy audience, allowing visitors to take part in futuristic adventures. This forward-thinking approach ensures Futuroscope's place in the market as an incubator of new things.
  • Ok Corral - The Living Wild West Capturing the essence of the American frontier, Ok Corral immerses visitors in a Western getaway, with themed attractions and accommodations that resonate with cowboy culture. This blend of entertainment and escapism highlights how themed attractions and accommodations in cowboy culture can contribute to the success of the business.
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  • Number of pages : ~ 40 pages
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  • Last update : 18/11/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition

The leisure park market includes :

  • amusement and themeparks
  • water parks
  • animal parks
  • indoorplaygrounds for children.

Thanks to its attractiveness and the popularity it generates among tourists, France is one of Europe's leading destinations for the amusement park market, despite strong competition from neighboring countries such as Germany and Spain.

Competition is fierce in France, where there are major international players, both foreign and French, such as Disneyland, Parc Astérix and Puy du Fou. With a large number of parks in the country, the market's growth drivers lie inongoing investment in existingfacilities.

Innovation is one example, and many parks are betting on new technologies to renew their offering, such as virtual reality. Similarly, to enrich the consumer experience before, during and after their visit, and thus boost their sales, many players are investing in the digital arena through the creation ofmobile applications.

We also need to take into account the increasing complexity of the offer, and in particular the "resortization" of the parks, which offer stay packages, i.e. including more or less upmarket accommodation to extend the length of stay, as well as ancillary services such as the increased presence of restaurants, parking lots and stores.

Given the highly seasonal nature of the market, leisure park operators are also targeting business customers , who can use the facilities to organize seminars or team-building workshops, for example.

In parallel with the large-scale leisure park segment, indoor playgrounds are growing fast. Requiring much lower initial investment, they are rapidly expanding in the form of franchises, offering activities such as bowling, go-karting, laser games and escape games.

1.2 The global theme park market

The global theme park market grew from $**.** billion in **** to $** .** billion in ****, at a compound annual growth rate (***) of **.*%. The war between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the chances of global economic recovery from the COVID-** pandemic, at least in the short term. The war between these two countries has led ...

1.3 The size of the French market according to naf code 93.21Z: a difficult post-crisis recovery

With the opening of Disneyland Paris in ****, France has become Europe's No. * destination for theme parks in less than ** years, despite competition from Germany and Spain. According to the Syndicat National des espaces de loisirs, d'attractions et culturels (***), the French market boasts no fewer than *** sites, welcoming ** million French and international ...

1.4 Impact of Covid-19 on the sector: sales and business trends

Impact of the pandemic: amusement and theme parks

Amusement park activities are recorded in Insee registers under NAF code **.**Z: Activities of amusement parks and theme parks. This code encompasses the following activities:

Amusement and theme park activities; The operation of various attractions, such as mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 French people's favorite pastimes according to Yougov

French demand for leisure parks is linked to several key factors:

The purchasing power of French households: a macro-economic factor that has a direct influence on household spending on leisure parks; Touristappeal: an important factor in the leisure park market, the importance of tourism cannot be overlooked; Weather: most leisure parks ...

2.2 French theme park selection criteria according to Yougov

The French choose their theme parks according to price(***).

French theme park selection criteria France, ****, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, % Source: ****

2.3 French theme park budgets

For an amusement park, the French are willing to spend between €** and €**(***). And **% are prepared to spend more than €**.

What's the budget for a day's leisure... at an amusement park? France, ****, % Source: ****

More than **% of French people are prepared to spend between €** and €** at an animal park. What's the budget for ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Leisure park dynamics

The investment race to renew the offer

In order to attract and retain visitors, and in the face of increasing competition, the parks have resorted to considerable investments of between *** and *** million euros per year. Many parks, such as Futuroscope's L'Extraordinaire Voyage and Parc Astérix's Pégase Express, have exceeded ...

3.2 Typology of leisure parks

The offer is in keeping with the nature of the park, and is broad enough to appeal to all generations (***):

Amusement parks: enclosed spaces devoted entirely to leisure, games and entertainment. Generally speaking, amusement parks offer a wide range of rides for adults and children, depending on the desires of the ...

3.3 Distribution channels

The leisure park offer is distributed through several modes and channels:

Sales to individuals:

Direct via ticket offices, restaurants or stores; Via a website.

Sales to tourism professionals:

Hypermarkets: travel agency of a supermarket chain; Travel agencies: for example, Parc Astérix or Futuroscope generate **% of their sales via travel agencies; Tour ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Business drivers

The main drivers of park activity are :

The economic and financial situation of households, which determines the level of spending on theme parks; The evolution of the child population, given that families with children are the main target population; French and international tourist numbers; Weather conditions, mainly between April and September. ...

4.2 Price levels

The above prices are the basic park entrance prices. However, prices may vary depending on the period (***). Depending on the park, preferential rates are available for families, groups, people with reduced mobility, senior citizens and students. Tickets purchased online, through a works council or with a Pass are generally less expensive ...

4.3 Much higher per capita income at Eurodisney

Amusement parks derive their revenue from the sale of admission tickets, but they also seek to get customers to spend money once they're in the park. A range of ancillary services is therefore deployed to meet visitors' needs and desires.

The graph below was created by dividing sales by attendance for ...

4.4 Products related to amusement parks

Services for professionals

In order to generate revenue in the off-season, the parks have set up special facilities to welcome business customers for seminars, conventions, meetings, team-building events or private parties:

Disneyland Business Solutions created ** years ago, this entity organizes over *** events a year, and has established itself as the *st ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Attraction facility regulations

The installations and rides that make up amusement park attractions are strictly regulated. The law distinguishes between attractions that are permanently fixed to the ground and travelling attractions. These two types of attractions fall into several categories:

Attractions permanently fixed to the ground

Category *: attractions for unaccompanied children under *.** m tall; Category ...

5.2 Regulations governing playgrounds and leisure areas

Because of the public they attract, play and leisure areas, whether or not installed in a park, are subject to strict regulations, especially in terms of safety. There are a number of points to note in the following areas:

Playground equipment ; Playground layout; Accident management and potential risks.

Playground equipment

Playground ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

  • EuroDisney (Disneyland Paris & Walt Disney Studios)
  • Grévin et Cie Parc Astérix (Cie de Alpes)
  • Le Puy du Fou
  • Marineland
  • Nigloland (Gélis Frères)
  • Le Pal
  • Walibi Rhône-Alpes (Avenir Land)
  • Ok Corral
  • Parc Spirou
  • Zoo Parc de Beauval
  • Aquarium de la Rochelle
  • Zoo de la Palmyre (Zoo Faune Tropicale)
  • Royal Kids (Franchise)
  • Futuroscope
  • EuroDisney (Disneyland Paris & Walt Disney Studios)
  • Compagnie des Alpes
  • Looping
  • Le Hameau Duboeuf
  • Touroparc Zoo
  • Zoo d'Amnéville
  • Vulcania
  • Pop Corn Labyrinthe
  • Parc du Bournat
  • Grottes du Cerdon Tellus
  • Dino Zoo
  • Europa Park
  • Winnoland
  • Zoo de Vincennes
  • Zoo de Thoiry
  • MuséoParc Alésia

List of charts presented in this market study

  • The size of the global theme park market
  • Sales trend (excl. VAT) for naf code 93.21Z
  • French people's favorite types of leisure activities by Yougov
  • French theme park selection criteria
  • What's the budget for a day out... at an amusement park?
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Latest news

Puy du Fou in the starting-blocks in China - 28/03/2024
  • In Spain, its park has already reached 1.1 million visitors in 2023, two years after its creation.
  • Saga park opens in Shanghai
  • Chinese show features Shanghai in the 1930s
  • puy du Fou Asia's Chinese partners (Cyts and Chengxin) invest 80 million euros.
  • The Puy du Fou subsidiary, 51%-owned by the French park, employs 300 Chinese staff
  • Group workforce: 3,850 (2,500 in France, 1,000 in Spain, 300 in China, 50 in the Netherlands);
  • Visitor numbers: 3.7 million by 2023 (2.6 million in France and 1.1 million in Spain);
  • Investment: 420 million euros in the last four years
Compagnie des Alpes: Parc Astérix's crazy projects - 12/12/2023
  • Spring inauguration of the Toutatis Festival, 36 million euros of investment
  • Asterix broke its all-time attendance record with 2.8 million visitors, consolidating its position as France's second-largest park, behind the giant Disneyland Paris (15 million by 2022) and ahead of Puy du Fou (2.6 million by 2023).
  • On average, 20% of sales (170 million euros in 2022) will be reinvested each year.
  • Target: three million annual visitors
  • The site's hotel capacity has increased from 100 to 450 rooms in five years.
  • A fourth hotel is planned for the end of 2026
  • Parc Astérix is the flagship of its owner, Compagnie des Alpes, which also owns Futuroscope, Walibi and the Musée Grévin.
  • Sales of Compagnie des Alpes' leisure park business (526 million euros in fiscal 2022-2023) have surpassed those of the group's historic ski resorts (489 million euros).
Leisure parks, Compagnie des Alpes' magic potion - 06/12/2023
  • For the first time, the Group broke through the symbolic one-billion-euro sales barrier (1.13 billion, up 10.6%). Operating income was also up, by 3.6% to 139.6 million, as was net income (90.4 million, up 5.2%).
  • The Group's leisure parks (Parc Astérix, Futuroscope, Walibi Rhône-Alpes) were in excellent health. With sales of 526 million euros, they outstripped for the second year running its ski area and outdoor activities division (489 million).
  • More visitors to the parks (+5.2%)
  • Parc Astérix broke its attendance record with 2.8 million admissions. They also spent more (+7% per visitor).
  • In skiing, the energy bill more than doubled - from 35.1 million to 72.1 million - and affected all 10 ski areas (including Tignes, La Plagne and Les Arcs).
  • In a ski market down 5% according to Domaines skiables de France, CDA sites reported a 1.8% increase in the number of skier-days.

Disneyland Paris plans to recruit 8,500 employees, including 1,500 on permanent contracts - 28/11/2023
  • Disneyland Paris plans to hire 8,500 additional employees, including 1,500 on permanent contracts.
  • The park already employs almost 16,000 people.
  • The park laid off around 1,000 employees during the health crisis.
Compagnie des Alpes and Eurostar expand their offer to Europe - 10/11/2023
  • Two years ago, Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) set up Travelski Express, rail links serving a dozen ski areas.
  • 4% of travelers to Alpine resorts take the train.
  • Eurostar, which used to provide the Travelski Express service, has reduced its services this year to five weeks in winter, and no longer serves Paris, but Lille.
  • From 2024 to 2026, Compagnie des Alpes plans to operate twice-weekly services between London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and the French Alps, from mid-December to mid-April.
  • Travelski Express carried 12,000 passengers to the Alps last year.
  • Every year, almost half a million Belgian skiers, over half a million Dutch skiers and over 1 million English skiers travel to the French Alps to ski.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

EuroDisney (Disneyland Paris & Walt Disney Studios)
Grévin et Cie Parc Astérix (Cie de Alpes)
Le Puy du Fou
Nigloland (Gélis Frères)
Le Pal
Walibi Rhône-Alpes (Avenir Land)
Ok Corral
Parc Spirou
Zoo Parc de Beauval
Aquarium de la Rochelle
Zoo de la Palmyre (Zoo Faune Tropicale)

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