This is based on a very good report by Blooloop, one of the world's leading lights on the visitor attraction industry.
Blooloop begins the report explaining why visitor attractions are changing.
As the quality of VR improves, theme parks are adopting it.
Note VR is a cheap solution. It "can revitalise an old ride with significantly less investment than building a brand new one". Because VR is digital, it's "software", the media for VR can be changed easily, creating different experiences for the same physical ride.
(A question: why bother adding VR to roller coasters? Isn't it better to create a ride that gives the impression of the G-forces? The roller coaster looks like an expensive addition.)
Gamification is the addition of an element of competition and interaction to almost anything to increase engagement. This is being done with increasing sophistication to meet the expectations of visitors.
Attractions are making the most of the fact that everyone has a smartphone. Here's some examples:
Technology — hi tech and low tech — is helping to deliver unique experiences attractions.
Not just customised, many are now letting guests create their own experiences.
Note also: Rage Rooms in Japan, Canada, US, UK, where people pay an hourly rate to completely destroy a room with weapons. A sort of Fight Club idea?
With the rise in internet shopping, many shopping centres and malls are trying to add value by becoming an ‘experience’. This trend is not new, but it's becoming the norm. Some interesting developments:
To reflect ageing demographics… attractions are adapting experiences for the older visitor.
(Note the original report included a trend on "branded attractions". We didn't find this very interesting. Just some examples of media brands extending the brand into attractions. But doesn't strike us as very new. Remember Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse.)