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World’s Most Popular Theme Parks and Museums Revealed

News Theme and amusement parks become increasingly popular these days. Many people plan their vacation for the mere purpose of visiting a certain popular park. In 2018, theme and amusement parks reached an important milestone – half a billion visitors per year. Taking into consideration that there are more than 7.5 billion people worldwide, it is easy to calculate that 7% of all population of our planet visited theme parks last year.

Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM prepared their rank of the most popular theme parks and museums in the world based on their attendance. The 2018 TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index report reveals that theme park attendance was growing last year, adding approximately 4%. The attendance of waterparks added 2.5% internationally. At the same time, the EMEA region was showing the biggest gain of 6.7%, and North America added 5.8% last year. Museums showed nearly flat results in 2018.

Experts underline that 2018 was a great year for the entertainment industry in general. They also named several reasons for the strong performance. These are the addition of second gates, building hotels that are adjacent or close to theme parks, and use of the blockbuster intellectual property.

As expected, Disney parks performed well last year and attracted 157 million visitors. It is not uncommon to book a hotel in Tokyo or Hong Kong hotel close to Disney parks nowadays. The newest addition, Shanghai Disneyland, also performed exceptionally well in 2018. Chinese theme park operators, such as OCT, Chimelong, and Fantawild had a good year as well. European theme parks also increased their attendance, but this happened mostly thanks to building true destination resorts where theme parks played the major role. Building a hotel near a theme park has become common in Europe. Efteling (Netherlands), Europa-Park (Germany), Tivoli (Denmark), Parque Warner (Spain), Gardaland (Italy), and Alton Towers (UK) performed well last year.

The list of the most popular museums is not surprising. A visit to Louvre is one more reason to book a hotel in Paris for many travelers. It is the most attended museum in the world, followed by London’s Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In the Asia Pacific, the National Museum of China kept its position of the most visited museum. The newly opened and re-imagined Hunan Museum managed to get into the top 20 museums right in the year that it started working again.


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