Chinese expect virtual theme parks

The majority of Chinese theme park visitors expect to be able to enjoy virtual or augmented reality rides and interact with robots in future, a new report has found.

The survey by Omnico revealed that 70% of visitors to theme parks in China expect virtual reality experiences and guides at resorts within three years. In addition, almost half (49%) expect to have access to augmented reality games or be personally assisted by robots, and nearly a third (32%) believe they will see holographic assistants at parks.

The findings feature in the first Omnico Chinese Theme Park Barometer, which gathered the opinions and expectations of 670 guests at Chinese theme parks.

“These results show that tech-savvy visitors now want technology to enhance their enjoyment and take all the hassle out of their visits to theme parks,” said Mel Taylor, CEO of the Omnico Group. “Virtual reality, augmented reality and AI robots are technologies that fun-loving visitors are increasingly familiar with and expect to benefit from very soon.”

Hangzhou had the highest number of visitors expecting VR experiences (83%), compared with 76% in both Shenzhen and Nanjing, and 71% in Beijing. More than half the guests in Guangzhou (55%) said robots will be giving them personal assistance within three years, while visitors in Shenzhen were most optimistic among those surveyed about a Siri-like personal digital assistant becoming a reality (48%). In Chengdu, 47% expect voice-activated mobile apps to be available.

An overwhelming 91% of respondents said they would prefer to pay for everything at a theme park with a wristband or smartphone app, while 86% said they wished to pre-order everything required for their visit in one go, via the resort’s website or mobile app. This includes hotels, meals, merchandise, tickets, fast-track passes, ride-times, cashless wristbands and reserved seating.

“The results of our barometer show that theme parks in China have to act now if they are to meet consumer expectations,” added Taylor. “Making this a reality does not require major investment in completely new solutions, but intelligent integration of all the pieces in the jigsaw.”

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