Reed MIDEM interviews Andreas Veilstrup Andersen ahead of Leisure Day

Reed MIDEM, the organiser of MAPIC, has interviewed Leisure Day keynote speaker Andreas Veilstrup Andersen ahead of the first Leisure Day. Andersen is the Executive Vice President of Tivoli Gardens and the former President and CEO of Liseberg Group

Andreas Andersen ceo liseberg and iaapa chairman

Andreas Andersen

Reed MIDEM is pleased to be hosting a dedicated Leisure Day ahead of this year’s MAPIC exhibition and conference in Cannes, France. The first edition of the Leisure Day will take place on the 12th November 2019, in Cannes – the day before the international leading retail property event. This full-day event aims at accelerating the integration of leisure in lifestyle destinations. It will welcome 500 participants including leisure operators & suppliers and landlords.

Ahead of the event, Reed MIDEM interviewed the highly anticipated keynote speaker Andreas Veilstrup Andersen. During the conversation, he discussed how to leverage attractions in order to build smarter cities and lifestyle destinations.

“Reinvent, renew, develop and be brave”

“Visitors are not just buying a ticket to ride but expectation, experiences and memories,” says Andersen. “The border between attractions, retail and other types of leisure is becoming more and more difficult to define. You can see in leisure that there is more F&B and more retail and that in retail shopping centres are becoming more like attractions.”

Andersen has spent around 20 years working in a variety of high profile roles in the attractions industry, including at Swedish attraction park Liseberg and the world-famous Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, as well as at the international trade organisation IAPPA.

MAPIC

Competition, blended uses and diversification

Andersen points out that due to blended uses, the nature of competition in the business has changed.  “When I started, it was very easy to define your competition, the other local attraction parks. But things are changing very rapidly and in my opinion, we will see destinations of all types competing with each other in the future,” he says. “One reason for this is travel. It is now very easy to travel cheaply around the world and so Liseberg is not just competing in Sweden but with world-class attractions in other parts of the world. So this amplifies change.”

“I foresee parallel investment in retail and attractions, as we invest in experience, F&B, retail and secondary gaming,” he says. “Of course people come in to go on the rides but what we have done is invest in all those other areas of the park, to raise the choice and the quality. These are important elements as people choose one park over another by looking at customer reviews and experiences. It’s the same in retail and these factors are increasingly important.”

Complementary spending and constant reinvention

Theme parks and attractions have both a direct and an indirect impact on their surrounding areas. Visitors also spend money outside the attraction, for example on retail, local travel, food and accommodation.

“Attractions and destinations can have an abstract impact too,” says Andersen. “They might give an area an identity, or make the region a better place to live,” he says, pointing to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, northern Spain. “Before the museum was built, Bilbao was an ageing industrial city but the Guggenheim has not only rebranded the city but has made it a much more modern and vibrant place to live.”

Once established, attractions also need to fight to stay relevant and interesting. This can be a costly exercise. Andersen estimates that attractions need typically to reinvest around 12% of turnover back into their parks annually just to maintain their position.

“It is quite a capital-intensive industry,” he says. “I would say you have to be completely customer-focused and adaptive because what you build today may not be what you do tomorrow.”

Andersen will share his vision on the crucial role entertainment plays in city attractiveness during a keynote speech Leisure: The Cutting Edge of Urban Enchantment at the Leisure Day on Tuesday 12 November at 14.10. MAPIC – the international retail property market – then follows from November 13 to 15 at the Palais des Festivals.