From large integrated projects in metros to small water parks in tier II townships, the amusement park industry in India continues to witness a steady growth
For an industry that has been growing at a double digit rate in India, the amusement park sector is still at a nascent stage in the country. A recent FICCI-Ernst & Young report has projected healthy growth potential for the sector. The industry is expected to nearly double in size by 2020 in terms of the number of parks with an enhanced portfolio of offerings. “The industry comprising of park operators and ride manufacturers have adapted to the challenges of the growing demand for technically advanced rides/facilities from its customers and have seen a steady growth of 15 per cent year on year in the past several years,” says Yogesh Dange, president, Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI). He avers that increasing urbanisation and changing customer preferences will have positive impact on the industry footfall. This trend shall pave way for more investments in the sector and large integrated projects like the Adlabs Imagica coming up. The existing amusement park players will upgrade their facilities and expand their operations in other cities as well.
The last two decades have witnessed interesting evolution of the sector – from Appu Ghar that opened in New Delhi in 1984. This was followed by development in major cities with EsselWorld in Mumbai and Nicco Park in Kolkata, while the early 2000s saw many parks coming up in small, medium and large cities. The decade also witnessed the emergence of water parks, which became quite popular. “Today there are 150 amusement parks in India, across tier I and tier II cities and smaller locations. Of theses, 15 per cent are large parks, 20 to 25 per cent are medium sized and the balance are small parks in smaller towns. These parks are integral for social infrastructure development and also generate a lot of employment,” says Arijit Sengupta, MD & CEO, Nicco Parks & Resorts.
One of the significant developments has been the increase in investment in tier II and tier III cities across the country in the amusement park industry in the last decade. “The potential from these cities has been encouraging. In the last 10 years at least 40 new parks with varied investments of Rs 5 to Rs 30 crore have been set up in cities other than