SeaWorld attendance INCREASES over summer 2018
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Figures released by SeaWorld Entertainment this month reveal that overall attendance to the twelve SeaWorld theme parks has increased by 10% over summer 2018, in addition to an increase in revenue by 9% in the same period. The preliminary numbers released on the first of October record that approximately 700,000 more guests visited SeaWorld theme parks during the third quarter of the year, showing a 10% increase in attendance compared to the same period in 2017. Collectively, the Orlando-based entertainment company owns one of the largest animal collections in North America. They operate twelve theme parks including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and Sesame Place. The Orlando-based theme park and entertainment company state that initial reports also demonstrate an increase in revenue by 9% to $41 million, although investors have been cautioned that the numbers are yet to be audited.
Credit: Michael Lowin on Wikimedia CommonsThe trend is not unexpected, following on from increased earnings in the first and second quarters of 2018 which suggest that SeaWorld attendance has been increasing gradually since the start of the year. During the first quarter of 2018, 400,000 more visitors were welcomed into SeaWorld, a 14.9% increase from the first quarter of 2017. Furthermore, an additional 300,000 guests visited SeaWorld in the second quarter of 2018, showing an increase of 4.8% compared with the second quarter of 2017. According to the Interim Chief Executive Officer, John Reilly, the increased attendance and increased revenue is the result of new pricing strategies, updated communications and marketing initiatives, and the positive reception to new rides, attractions, and events in the theme parks. In response to the criticism over the park's treatment of killer whales which led to a drop in attendance and large public backlash following the critical documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld Entertainment has announced that the current generation of killer whales will be the final generation bred in their parks while they shift their focus to the introduction of new attractions and conservation efforts. According to the SeaWorld website, its brand now focuses on providing 'personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature'. The website states that the company is 'a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care'.