For the third quarter, SeaWorld has reported a growth in revenue and an increase in visitor numbers on the same period last year.
For the three months ending September 30, 2018, the park reported that attendance had increased by 0.7 million guests on the same period last year. That represents an increase of 10%.
Looking at the year to date, the pattern of recovery continues. Attendance has increased by 1.4 million guests on the prior year period – an increase of 9%. They also report that revenue is expected to rise by $90 million – an increase of 9%.
Earlier this year, the company announced a 3 year plan to drive increases in attendance and revenue per capita. Improved marketing strategies and more in-park opportunities are planned. In addition, capex of $150 million per year is promised to attract visitors with new rides, attractions, shows and events in every park, in every year.
SeaWorld’s recovery continues
The documentary Blackfish (2013), accusing SeaWorld of mistreating its killer whales, severely damaged the company’s reputation. Last month, SeaWorld was fined $5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose the negative impact “Blackfish” was having on its business.
The company announced that it would be 350 jobs last year as part of an effort to shed $40 million in costs by the end of 2018.
In response to a changing public sentiment in the US, SeaWorld has shifted away from Orca breeding and theatrical shows. Instead, it is highlighting its role as a global leader in animal rescue, rehabilitation, release and research. Existing show pools and viewing areas have been redesigned into more naturalistic settings.
SeaWorld’s recovery has been ongoing with positive Q1 results and positive H1 results – including the announcement of investment into new attractions. Recovery has partly been fuelled by high profile marketing campaigns, including “From Park to Planet” and Bier Fest at Busch Gardens.