Related: Merlin buys into Australia as CDA sells in Europe / Compagnie des Alpes – poor weather and economic depression lead to a fall in sales for 2010 / EuroDisney’s Strategy to 2030: Doubling Capacity and Eco Tourism
This week CDA announced rather uninspiring Q1 sales. Total visitor numbers for all parks in the first quarter, excluding Aqualibi and Bellewaerde, declined 3.1%, while visitor spending continued to rise (+6.3%). Sales remained flat at €29m.
However, there are exciting times ahead for the theme park half of the Group in 2011 as CDA look to be on the brink of finally realising the benefits of their strategy with the acquisition of a controlling interest in Futuroscope and the long awaited reopening of Aqualibi (sales of €4 million, 400, 000 visitors) and the four Walibi parks.
Significant effort is being put into the relaunch of the Walibi brand: “the creation of the new Walibi universe, is representative of the ambition of the Compagnie des Alpes Group to develop brands and expertise, thereby raising growth potential and increasing expansion capacity. By 2012, investments of €15 million (€11 million have already been invested) in the Walibi brand will confirm its leading role among leisure parks, while creating new growth opportunities.”
Dominique Marcel stated: “The recently concluded Futuroscope deal, and now the launch of the Walibi brand, provide further concrete and promising examples of the strategic reorientation that was implemented two years ago. With the new Walibi universe, which is part of our differentiation strategy through content and brands, the Group possesses leading brand of family entertainment in Europe, which will breathe new life and future growth into CDA.”
Battle of the Bands
Reinvigorating the Walibi brand is key to CDA’s strategy for future developments – deriving enhanced value from intangible assets whilst optimising its capital structure. CDA are hoping to reconnect with 8 to 12 year olds via a cooler kangaroo and extensive social media promotion. Walibi has been given a manga-styled makeover and a back story with a host of new characters who have formed rival rock bands, W.A.B. and The Skunx. A new website has been launched and online Walibi visitors are invited to read comics, play games and vote for their favourite song from the battling bands. The aim of this trendy marketing campaign is to create a buzz ahead of a more detailed reveal of Walibi’s future on January 25th.