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TEA and AECOM release Theme Index and Museum Index 2016

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TEA and AECOM release Theme Index and Museum Index 2016

PR Newswire

Water parks continue to make a big splash in Asia with 6.9% growth

China theme park attendance predicted to surpass the US by 2020


HONG KONG, June 14, 2017 - The 2016 TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index, an annual study of attendance at top theme parks, water parks and museums around the world, reveals mixed results for calendar year 2016.


While attendance at the top 25 global theme parks dipped by 1.1 percent, the world’s top 10 theme park operators saw a 4.3 percent increase at their properties, from 420 million to 438 million visitors.

The report also shows attendance at the top 20 water parks worldwide grew by 3.6 percent, and attendance at the world’s top 20 museums increased by 1.2 percent, hitting a new high this year of 108 million attendees.

“Following record setting numbers in 2015, attendance results in 2016 were more modest but still reflective of a healthy, growing industry,” said John Robinett, Senior Vice President, Economics, AECOM. “The major theme park operators continued their positive performance, and most markets saw slow, steady growth, while weather, tourism and political issues contributed to minor declines in others.”

In Asia-Pacific regions, there was substantial growth led by the Chinese operators OCT, Fantawild and Chimelong despite the 2.8% decline among Asia-Pacific’s Top 20 theme parks attendance in 2016. There was an increase of 24.1% and 18.8% for Fantawild Adventure, Zhengzhou and OCT Happy Valley, Shenzhen respectively.

Asian water parks performed very strongly with 6.9% overall growth and Chimelong continued to be the top-attended water park worldwide, with 2.54 million visitors an increase of 7.9% since last year’s index.

“There were some marked successes while other numbers were flat or even in decline. This uneven performance may point to what we can expect to be a normal pattern as the Asian sector continues to evolve: while growing very quickly, competition and sharp changes in tourism can greatly impact performance,” said Chris Yoshii, Vice President, Economics, Asia-Pacific “The overall forecast still holds, that by the year 2020, attendance at theme parks in China will surpass that of the US.”

The attendance study, now in its 11th year, is created and distributed by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at AECOM. The new study and prior editions (dating to 2006) are available freely online at and

“The TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index is a vital resource, providing our industry with a solid body of relevant research and expertise for more than a decade,” said TEA International Board President David Willrich of DJ Willrich Ltd. “In addition to benefiting the attractions industry, the Theme Index is a boon to tourism, travel, finance, business and education sectors. We’re proud of our partnership with AECOM and our joint efforts to document and understand worldwide attendance trends.”

Key figures from the report

  • 127 million visits to the top 20 amusement/theme parks in Asia-Pacific, down 2.8 percent
  • 13 out of the top 20 amusement/theme parks in Asia-Pacific are from Greater China regions, 11 from Mainland China
  • Top 5 amusement/theme parks in Greater China: Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Hengqin,  China (8.5 million), Hong Kong Disneyland (6.1 million), Hong Kong Ocean Park (6 million), Shanghai Disneyland (5.6 million), and OCT East, Shenzhen, China (3.9 million)
  • 20.9 million visits to the top 20 water parks in Asia-Pacific, up 5.4 percent
  • 6 out of the top 20 water parks in Asia-Pacific are from Greater China
  • 59 million visits to the top 20 museums in Asia-Pacific, up 3.1 percent
  • 12 out of the top 20 museums in Asia-Pacific are from Greater China
  • Top 3 museums in Asia-Pacific: National Museum of China, Beijing (7.55 million), Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (6.32 million), and National Palace Museum, Taiwan (4.67 million)

AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $17.4 billion during fiscal year 2016. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

About TEA
The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit membership association founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 10,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts, working in some 1,300 firms in 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conference on Experience Design. TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, and is pleased to collaborate with AECOM for the 11th consecutive year on the TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index. Through four regional Divisions, TEA supports the global attractions community. Visit

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Posted on Jun 14, 2017 - 09:29 AM • Print