Alton Towers visitor figures through the years

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Matt N, 19th Jan 2018.

  1. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    In some planning application from the last 5 years, Merlin releaed their own attendance figures for all their UK parks since their beginnings, even before they owned the parks. It was fascinating and I wish I had saved it, I've never found it since. There were very interesting and obvious patterns from some years to the next differing between each park.

    Does anybody have this? Can't remember which application it was on, or what year it was published! One of the southern parks I think, maybe Legoland?

    Thanks for the warning.
    (I joke!)
     
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  2. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    I wouldn't make too many assumptions about trading when it comes to the reported attendance figures. There is no legal requirement for them to be accurate.
     
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  3. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    If they're part of shareholder communications there is.
     
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  4. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Sure but the list posted in the topic is mostly from TEA reports where there isn't.
     
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  5. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

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    I think you are looking at this from too much of an enthusiast's perspective. You make good points, but a lot of the non-enthusiast general public responded very positively to The Smiler when in first opened, moreso than for The Swarm the previous year at Thorpe Park. Yes, it didn't get visitor numbers over 3 million, but the number of visitors from 2010-2014 are still pretty impressive. Things like the queue line and lack of effects in the first section of the ride may have annoyed many an enthusiast, but I doubt the wider public cared as much you'd think. For most people, it was still a massive, 14 looping thrill ride, and that was all that counted. A lot of my non-enthusiast friends aren't that fussed on anything outside of the actual ride experience itself.

    The one fundamental reason that the park numbers have dipped below 2 million is because of the crash. I still feel people underestimate on here just how much of a negative effect that had on the park. It's no coincidence that only 2015 and 2016 seem to have less than 2 million visitors in total. We can say Merlin's lack of care played a contributing part, but I'm fairly convinced had the crash not happened, we'd have still seen over 2 million visitors the past few years. The additions to the park in 2006 and 2007 were weaker than anything under Merlin, and yet there were still over 2 million.
     
  6. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think the comparison of Alton Towers & Europa Park is at all unfair - even if they are at opposite polar ends of the scale when it comes to product offering / theming / day out experience. Mack have invested heavily in Europa Park and spruce bits of the park up each year. Alton Towers leave areas to rot for a few years then wheel out the maintenance under the guise of TLC.

    It's all about attention to detail. I remember at Europa Park we were in the Mine Train station & a train was despatched. The Operator noticed one of the two red rear lights on the train had blown & was on the phone for maintenance. By the time we boarded the train an electrician had arrived & only had time to unscrew the bulb cover before the train was sent again. Bulb swapped when we came back into the station & the cover doubtless replaced after the following ride-cycle. Had this been Alton Towers the Op would not have seen the rear light due to the Op cabin location, but had the platform host noted it it'd just have gone down on the defect sheet to be looked at the following morning / more likely at the end of season.

    I know someone who used to work for Mack Rides at Europa Park and remember him telling me something along the lines of "Our guests come and pay their admission fee and expect to get 10-15 rides in a day. If they do not they are at Guest Services demanding a refund". So all the rides at Europa Park are high-capacity and run with ruthless efficiency so that all guests have a great day out - not just the ones with a fat wallet for FastTracks like at Alton Towers.

    TBH, I consider Europa Park to be the best theme park in the World. I'm no fan of Disney in any shape or form, but I genuinely believe Europa Park gives Disney a run for it's money - especially if you like the more intense rides as Disney is in the main, fairly family-orientated.
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Thirteen brought in over 3 million admissions. It was an incredibly successful investment despite all the enthusiast backlash. This was confirmed in The Smiler's planning application. The TEA figures are guesswork.
     
  8. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    The TEA report for 2017 has just been released! :)
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Great stuff! Thanks @Robert.W! Nice to see them hitting 2 million; I reckon that number will be even higher in 2018!
     
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  10. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    I wouldn’t put much stock on these numbers, Merlin don’t provide the TEA with any figures so it’s a guess.
     
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  11. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Attendance is not the best metric for establishing the success of a season. Made up attendance even less so.
     
    Last edited: 18th May 2018
  12. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    I would be more interested to see hotel bed occupancy levels through the years at Alton than the gate figures to see if expansion is actually justified.
     
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  13. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Attendance is important in the aftermath of the Smiler incident as it’s a good indicator of public trust in the product. The key thing Merlin will want to see though is operating profits and guest KPI scores.
     
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  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    It depends if it's more one off day visitors returning to the park for their annual trip or if it's passholders coming every weekend making the most of the shorter queues. Without specifics in terms of the visitors demographics, it's not particularly helpful.
     
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  15. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Good point, I've been loads this year because of the season pass. Guess this might have been brought in just to inflate the visitor numbers?

    I hope it works though, i'd like to see Alton get a bigger budget and they might if they have a big increase in visitors
     
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  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    As a rule of thumb, more regular visitors = lower per cap spending which is an important (largely unreleased) metric.
     
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  17. The theme park geek

    The theme park geek TowersStreet Member

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    With Wickerman this year I'm sure attendance will be higher.
    Per capita spending should be up as well because there will be lots of one-off visitors for the new coaster.
    Don't forget that although typically per capita spending is lower with AP holders they do tend to be a major source of bookings in accommodation.
     
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  18. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Sorry to bump the thread, but according to Wikipedia, Alton Towers got 2,350,000 visitors in 2018. How likely do you guys reckon this is? I'll wait until the TEA report comes out in May before I update anything, but I'd be interested to see what you guys think to this figure.
     
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    Posted 9th Feb 2019
    #38
  19. Graeme

    Graeme TowersStreet Member

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    It seems like a fairly reasonable increase from the year before, considering a new ride has been installed.

    I can't really judge the hype around it and crowd levels as i didn't visit.
     
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    Posted 9th Feb 2019
    #39
  20. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    If it on Wikipedia then it must be true :rolleyes:

    If those guest figures are true, then someone better tell the person that is in charge of Merlin's budget :rolleyes:

    Looking at today's complaints on Alton's FB page, looks like families are having a great time spending most of the day queuing to get into an over booked swimming pool without any guarantee that they will be able to get in.
     
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    Posted 9th Feb 2019
    #40

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