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Almost 90% of Theme Park Visitors Want Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality to Be a Part of Their Experience

According to a recent survey conducted by Omnico, a provider of cloud-based POS and customer engagement solutions, 85% of theme park visitors from the U.S.A., U.K., China, Japan and Malaysia want theme parks to use artificial intelligence (AI) systems for ID verification so their visits are as trouble-free as possible. The figures are part of the Omnico Theme Park Barometer, which surveyed the expectations of 3,470 consumers in five countries who said they have visited a theme park within the last two years.
Chinese visitors are most in favor of AI technology with 92% willing to allow AI systems to recognize them using physical attributes. Although fingertip recognition is the most popular individual method of verification across the five countries (selected by 32%), China is the exception, with facial recognition being the number one choice among visitors (41%). Palm-recognition was favored by only 15% overall.
The survey also found that 89% of visitors across the five countries want virtual reality technology to help them get more out of theme park visits by, for example, using headsets to choose rides (selected by 37%), restaurants, hotel rooms and souvenirs, to obtaining a bird’s eye view of the park on arrival (36%).
Chinese visitors were most enthusiastic for the potential of VR, with 98% saying they wanted to see it integrated into theme parks. The most popular use for VR in China is for obtaining a view of the park (53%), whereas in the U.S. and U.K. it is for choosing rides (42% and 34% respectively). Japanese respondents were less enthusiastic, with the most popular use for VR being the choice of restaurant (34%). For Malaysians the best use for VR is helping choose restaurants and hotel rooms (50% for each).
Theme parks can no longer rely on the buzz generated by new rides and updated attractions to guarantee footfall through their turnstiles. The number of new parks may be growing exponentially, but visitor expectations are stretching beyond the desire to experience new thrills. As competition grows, park operators need to ensure their destinations remain relevant and this means adopting digital and mobile technologies to create a seamless journey for the visitor. But this seamlessness goes beyond the rides and attractions. Visitors have come to expect the same high level of innovation from their hotel accommodation, spa use, dining, and from the variety of shops and retail outlets.

To read the report in full, click here.
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