Skip to main content

IAAPA celebrates sell-out Leadership Conference 2018 in Japan


The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is celebrating a sell-out Leadership Conference 2018, held for the first time in Japan.

The event at the beginning of March attracted more than 170 top-level attractions industry leaders from 28 countries.

They convened in Osaka and Tokyo to learn from inspiring keynote speakers and attend educational sessions. Participants also gained insights into some of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions with tours of Universal Studios Japan – Osaka, Kaiyukan Aquarium, Kabuki-za Theatre, Fuji-Q Highland, and Tokyo DisneySea.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees describing the event as ‘eye-opening’ and ‘beyond expectation’. Another said it offered an opportunity to become ‘more connected’ to Japanese attractions.

Leadership Conference 2018 was ‘exceptional’

“This Leadership Conference was exceptional,” stated Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK. “We visited so many diverse attractions in three cities—it’s exciting to go to new areas. We need to reach out, because there are amusement parks everywhere. To come here and show them we value their input into the industry is very valuable to us all.”

The opening keynote was delivered by Mike Davis, Senior Vice President, International Entertainment at Universal Parks & Resorts. Among the educational opportunities were presentations by Edwin Omura, Ambassador for Asia-Pacific at KidZania, and Tomoko Chijiwa, Director of Human Resources at Legoland Japan and Merlin Entertainments Japan.

The closing keynote was given by Andrew Bolstein, Vice President and Executive Managing Director at Walt Disney Attractions Japan and Disneyland International.

“What I will bring with me from this week is that, in this global industry, the key is always cultural adaptations,” commented Andreas Andersen, President and CEO, The Liseberg Group, Sweden.

“We’ve seen some examples of this at a high level this week. It was a joy to meet our Japanese colleagues, and I’m proud to be a part of this association and this industry.”

Share this
charles read blooloop

Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

More from this author

Companies featured in this post

More from this author

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update