Book Report: Alton Tower

Pages: 15 (6064 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Recreation  ·  Buy This Paper

Alton Towers is one of the largest theme parks in the United Kingdom today and it continues to draw large numbers of visitors using a combination of innovation marketing programs as well as continuing investments in newer and more exciting rides and attractions. These efforts are absolutely essential in the highly competitive environment that exists in London and its environments for the tourist dollar, the marketers at Alton Towers and its controlling group do not enjoy the luxury of sitting still and watching their competitors erode their market share. Because the travel and tourism industry remains the largest industry in the world and air travel has even increased in recent years after recovering from its downturn following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, identifying opportunities for promoting attendance at the park by foreign visitors represents a timely and important enterprise. One nationality in particular that requires further attention by the park are Thais who represent a significant percentage of the annual visitors to the UK but who may be unaware of or uninterested in visiting the park for reasons described further in the study. This study is concerned with identifying such opportunities for promoting and marketing Alton Towers to Thai markets. The research uses a review of the secondary research together with the collection of primary data specifically for the purposes of the study using a questionnaire and interview of the sample of 20 Thai students who are studying in UK. The report highlights the elements needed to promote the Alton Towers to Thailand market such as the advertising in Thai media and contacting personal service and online tour agencies. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the concluding chapter.

An International Marketing Strategy for Alton Towers

Introduction

Alton Towers is one of the biggest theme parks in UK, according to the World Tourism Organization (2008); the United Kingdom was ranked in 6th place on the world leading tourist destination. Focusing on England, tourism plays important part in the economic. Most tourists visiting the park are from American, Australia, and Europe. In spite of its size and popularity, Alton Towers is in fierce competition for the entertainment dollars being spent in the area, particularly given the primary themes of the other tourist attractions that draw many visitors to London and other parts of the country. For example, the UK's popular tourism products are cultural and heritage tourism, particularly in London. Hosting many well-known tourist attraction liked the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and London Bridge. Outside the capital, there also are many interesting sites such as Roman baths, Brighton's seaside, famous university town liked Cambridge and Oxford, Nottingham as a home of Robin Hood, and world's heritage like Stonehenge. There also are Ecotourism as England also has some distinctive natural surroundings. For example: Eden Project in Cornwall, a national park and Windermere lake at Lake District, and the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and Devon.

Besides cultural and heritage tourism and ecotourism, there are many entertainment attractions, zoos and theme parks all over the countries, for example: London Eye and London Dungeon, Windsor Lego land, Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. The management of Alton Towers enjoys the fact that the park is part of Merlin Entertainments, and it is the organization's flagship attraction. According to Themed Entertainment Association report in May 2008, it was ranked in the 11th place for most visited theme park in Europe. It is amongst the top five tourist attractions in the UK. Located near big cities like Manchester and Birmingham made travelling to the site very easy and convenient with chooses of transportation modes; visitors can go with a private car and public transportation. Moreover, Alton tower have many activities for families to enjoy. There are many rides and activities both parents and kids, or even teenagers can enjoy their time at Alton towers. Besides the theme park, it is also very popular because of its short break resort. The uniqueness is the site itself was set on historical land of Staffordshire countryside with the Towers themselves forming a unique and historic centre piece (see Figure __ below).

Figure ____. Alton Towers from Morris's Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alton_Towers_from_Morris%27s_Seats_of_ Noblemen_and_Gentlemen_%281880%29.JPG

With the wild range of activities, it is suitable for all age visitors: the site provides the Europe's largest indoor water park, two hotels, luxury spa, and dazzling rides and attractions. Even thought it was very popular among Britons and European tourists, many Thai tourists visiting London and its environs had never even heard the name. For many Thai tourists, the UK is one most popular destination for holidays, recreation and historical interests. The Thai tourists also come for shopping at Harrods and Oxford Street, visiting castles and heritage sited, and taking a ride on the London Eye.

The aim of the report is to make an international marketing strategy for Thais market. Thailand is the one of the biggest tourist market in UK over 70,000 Thais nationals visited UK each year, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) the statistics of outgoing Thai nationals (2007) which have increase each year. All of those statistic demonstrate that the Thai people are one of attracts market for Alton Tower to do the marketing, which in this research will provide some strategy to promote Alton Tower to Thais market.

Review of the Relevant Literature

An analysis of the chosen attraction's current provision and marketing activity

The marketers at Alton Towers position their park as a "short break resort" that offers a combination of rides, attractions, concessions and other features that makes the destination family-friendly and affordable. For instance, the park's Web site enthuses, "Alton Towers Resort is the UK's leading short break resort, offering as it does an unrivalled selection of attractions for the whole family to enjoy together. The origins of the Towers themselves date back to the 8th century, although the theme park and hotels are slightly less historic!" (About Us 2010, 1-2). The park has entered into a number of strategic partnerships and sponsorships in recent years in an effort to promote its various world-class rides and attractions, with one of the most prominent examples being its latest -- and perhaps scariest -- megarides, "Thirteen." According to a recent report from Pollara (2010), "Thirteen, despite having an almighty mountain of expectation to climb, does not disappoint. it's fast, it's frightening and it makes you scream. It is also accompanied by clever viral marketing, with builders and organisers telling us that not only is the terrifying Thirteen built on an unearthed ancient burial site - the very name of the ride itself is intended to cast an irreversible spell on all Alton Towers' aficionados, making certain they will visit again" (2-3). Some relevant statistics and facts about Alton Towers' newest ride attraction include the following:

1. It was a £15 million pound investment.

2. It is built on a burial site that is part of the original Alton Abbey, Thirteen will be themed around a crypt, with one of the main features of the ride taking place inside the unearthed crypt.

3. The ride was tested and built in Europe before being shipped to the UK.

4. Thirteen has been in design for 2 years and taken 9 months to build by a team of 35 working round the clock, to ensure the ride's readiness for launch in March.

5. The ride is replacing the old Corkscrew roller coaster which closed in November 2008 after 28 years and was the nation's first double-helix roller coaster (New roller coaster at Alton Towers 2010).

The marketers at Alton Towers have also responded to the growing demand for video mementoes of visitors' experiences. Using a new video-capture system that was developed in the United Kingdom, visitors to Alton Towers are now able to record themselves using surveillance cameras. The video initiative, entitled "Magic Moments," was launched in April 2007 (Tucker 2006). According to an article in the Futurist, the video program uses state-of-the-art radio frequency identification technology to pinpoint those visitors who subscribe to the service: "Visitors to Alton Towers who purchase the service will receive an RFID (radio frequency identification) band to wear around their wrist, 'marking' them to the park-wide video-capture system. As you go about your day at the park, footage of you enjoying rides, eating hot dogs, peeling gum off of the bottom of your shoe, and so on is routed, catalogued, and digitally stored. When you're ready to leave, you signal a computer to begin assembling the personalized footage, which is then transferred to a 30-minute DVD, available for purchase" (10).

Although not everyone would want a video of their less admirable moments in the scream- and vomit-invoking environment created by some of the park's rides, it is clear that many visitors appreciate the opportunity to go about their visit to the park without having to worry about taking pictures and keeping their camera gear safe and dry. Although the video surveillance system also… [END OF PREVIEW]

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