Chinese theme park guests expect VR, AR and robots in three years: survey

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Thrill-seekers visiting theme parks in China expect virtual or augmented reality and robots to be part of the experience, according to a survey from omni-channel software and services vendor Omnico.

The Omnico Chinese Theme Park Barometer survey – which assessed the expectations of 670 guests at Chinese theme parks – reports that 70% of visitors to theme parks in China expect virtual reality experiences and guides at resorts within three years. Just under half (49%) expect to enjoy augmented reality games or be personally assisted by robots.

“These results show that tech-savvy visitors now want technology to enhance their enjoyment and take all the hassle out of their visits to theme parks,” said Mel Taylor, CEO of Omnico Group. “Virtual reality, augmented reality and AI robots are technologies that fun-loving visitors are increasingly familiar with and expect to benefit from very soon. Expectations are high – nearly a third (32%) believe they will see holographic assistants at parks within three years.”

Hangzhou had the highest number of visitors expecting VR experiences (83%), compared with 76% in both Shenzhen and Nanjing, and 71% in Beijing. More than half the guests in Guangzhou (55%) said robots will be giving them personal assistance within three years, while visitors in Shenzhen were most optimistic among those surveyed about a Siri-like personal digital assistant becoming a reality (48%). In Chengdu, 47% expect voice-activated mobile apps to be available.

Just over 90% of respondents said they want to pay for everything at a park with a wristband or smartphone app. 86% said they want to order everything required for their visit in one go, using a resort website or mobile app. This includes hotels, meals, merchandise, tickets, fast-track passes, ride-times, cashless wristbands and reserved seating.

Guests also want purchasing to be easier, with 84%, for example, saying they want to order from anywhere in a park and have the tickets or merchandise delivered as they arrive at their hotel room, restaurant or home.

“The results of our barometer show that theme parks in China have to act now if they are to meet consumer expectations,” added Taylor.

“Making this a reality does not require major investment in completely new solutions, but intelligent integration of all the pieces in the jigsaw, from Point-of-Sale systems to CRM and loyalty personalization.”

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