The Role of Amusement and Theme Parks in the Indian Economy

28 Apr 2019

The term Amusement parks spark our imagination in a way that takes us right back to our own childhoods. Be it simple Indian Melas, or today’s proliferation of the same, like Disneyland, both children and adults alike find themselves enjoying it immensely. With the dawn of globalization and boost in the rising disposable income for consumers, the concept of theme park and amusement parks in India, has witnessed radical ascension only in the past two decades. In the past year, Asia’s attendance in theme parks swelled by 5.5%, which was majorly contributed by recently launched Shanghai Disneyland.

Starting from Appu Ghar that opened in New Delhi in 1984, right to the development of Essel World in Mumbai and Nicco Park in Kolkata, India, has witnessed significant evolution in this sector. The beginning of the 21st century saw many parks and water parks coming up in small, medium and large cities. Today there are 150 amusement parks in India, across tier I and tier II cities and smaller locations. In the last 10 years at least 40 new parks with varied investments of INR 5 to INR 30 crore have been set up in cities other than the metros. Due to large land requirements, most amusement parks are located on the outskirts of the cities.

According to Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries, the Indian amusement and theme park industry has been growing at a CAGR of more than 17.5% with an annual revenue of INR 17 billion and is estimated to grow at least INR 40 billion by 2020. This may be attributed to rising disposable incomes and focus on safety standards and hygiene.

The industry also acts as an employment hub for thousands of people, having employed approximately 75,000 people till date. Increase in number of parks aids in the development with respect to infrastructure of the locality. The quality of employment, including the various services related trainings are also helping level up livelihood. Having stated that, these parks are also creating broad customer base for other business, such as retail, restaurants, transportation and more.

Amusement parks in India attract over 3 crore visitors annually, and contribute nearly 40% of the total leisure industry turnover which are the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. About 30-35% visitors are from outstation and thus a major source of tourism. Children and youth visit the park either in school groups or with families and constitute 50% of park visitors, while adults constitute the remaining as they either visit with their families or in corporate groups. The key drivers for the theme and amusement parks are entertainment option (36%), ease of access (35%), variety of quality foods and drinks (18%), indoor attractions (17%), etc. And, theme and amusement parks score over other entertainment avenues by offering fun activities for the entire family, thrill and excitement and engagement activities for kids. The Indian theme park and amusement park sector contributes significantly to local economy as well as tourism while giving new avenues of entertainment of International Standards to Indians.

With significant regulatory support to attain this potential, tomorrow definitely seems a better day for the industry. Contemporary amusement parks have set the bar high, with incorporation of stylish technology and machinery to provide an unrivalled experience, in terms of entertainment. The appearance of such parks has increased the enjoyment of new alternatives in amusement, amongst the youth of India. The addition of hair-raising adventure rides in such parks has garnered attention from the younger crowd. India has evolved very much, in terms of entertainment. With the advancement in technology and extensive use of virtual reality, entertainment has become all-inclusive to the consumers. Especially, the progress observed in Indian lifestyle, has led to emergence of amusement parks as a clip form of entertainment in India. 

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