Visitors return for thrills and 5D experiences

Dreamworld theme park entrance sign. | Newsreel
Dreamworld representatives are among the guest speakers at an international amusement parks conference. | Photo: Cathchlights SG (iStock)

Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld will feature at an international amusement park conference in Bangkok, as the industry celebrates visitor numbers returning to post-pandemic levels.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo Asia 2024 runs until Thursday (May 30) and showcases the newest technological advancements in the attractions industry from more than 300 exhibitors.

IAAPA Expo Asia Pacific Executive Director Jack Chan said the industry, one of the hardest hit by COVID lockdowns, border closures and restrictions, had made a strong comeback from the pandemic, recapturing 98 percent of spending lost in 2020.

Mr Chan said global total spending for the industry was projected to reach nearly $89 billion by the end of 2024, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for well over a quarter of that amount ($25 billion).

Dreamworld features among the line-up of key speakers from leading parks and entertainment venues, such as Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines, and Studio City Macau.

Mr Chan said the region’s amusement market was projected to increase by 67 percent, second only to the Middle East in growth, with China and Japan the strongest performers.

He said the conference would showcase new rides and robotics as well as safety features and AI experiences.

The rise in 5D multisensory attractions that combine sight, sound, touch and even smell, will be explored at the conference as well as innovative approaches to improving environmental impact and sustainability, including waste management and energy efficiency, he said.