The 2017 season brings a record number of new experiences for the leisure industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to a report from IAAPA.


Middle Eastern investment counts for over €10bn, with a number of new theme parks, attractions and resorts in the pipeline for the period 2015-2020. The average annual investment of more than €500m on new rides in Europe only is being exceeded in 2017.

According to an IAAPA study, the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is projecting market growth. The Middle East and North Africa area is expected to become the fastest-growing region globally with a projected attendance of 12.4 million in 2020, an increase from 2.9 million in 2015. The visitor spending at UAE theme parks is expected to grow six-fold from €97.2m in 2016 to €560m by 2020. For Europe, there is an expected six per cent of overall market growth.

Trends identified for the 2017 season include flying theatres, augmented reality in dark rides, virtual reality combining with roller coasters, themed accommodation, IP implemented in children areas and digitalisation.