Disney shows that discounts move attendance in a down economy
Written by Robert Niles
We've got a discussion going about Disney's latest financial results. If you haven't seen the news: movies tanked, and theme park revenue is down. But theme park attendance is down just 1 percent in Orlando, and up 2 percent in Anaheim.Tweet
How did attendance hold and revenue decline? Discounts. Massive discounts and less overall visitor spending.
So that's the question: Would you rather discount and hold on to visitors, taking a loss in revenue from those who might have come anyway... or not discount and take a hit on attendance (which might lead to just as large, or even larger, revenue loss as well)?
Personally, I've talked with many people in many industries who'd argue in favor of holding on to your customers and market share... at whatever cost. It's far easier, they say, to get existing customers to pay more to you, during a recovery, than to acquire new customers, especially ones that you lost.
Of course, discounts alone don't get the job done. Theme parks need to promote and advertise their discounts, and Disney's done that with a vengeance.
Universal's got some sweet discounts, too, but after the Super Bowl, I've seen few ads from them. I seen a few more from Busch/SeaWorld, but not nearly as many as from Disney. And I've seen zilch from Six Flags.
If you offer a discount, and no one hears about it, does it really exist?
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