Great day out at the zoo!
Attractions are the backbone of the tourism industry in any destination. During the second year of their tourism degree, students study a module called Managing a Tourist Attraction: A business simulation case study. As part of the module students manage a simulated theme park where they have to apply marketing, HR and financial concepts and theory into the business simulation.
Part of the simulation is to learn from real life attractions in these key management areas, and students visited Drusillas at the beginning of this month to learn from their management team on the real challenges of running an attraction.
Upon arrival Drusillas’, Head of Education, James Woodward, demonstrated to students the key management issues associated with the running of the attraction and highlighted how they responded to crises such as COVID-19. The students were also treated to meeting a python and chinchilla up close!
“I learnt today how a smaller scale business such as Drusillas’ markets their attraction to their target market, and how it is important for them to add or change their attraction yearly in order to keep their market interested. It was also very interesting to know how the business worked during covid times and the measures they put in place to make their attraction safe again.” Katie, International Tourism Management second-year student
Students were particularly interested in the working conditions at a theme park and how to keep staff motivated. They also experienced ‘Fright Nights’, a way to attract visitors to park in the shoulder season (the period between the summer peak season and winter low season).
Students also visited Thorpe Park in October to hear from their management team to understand the tactics used to attract visitors out of peak season.