THOUGH amusement parks and attractions are all about fun offerings, safety and security are also a top priority in their business to ensure that visitors will truly have an enjoyable experience.
The Philippine Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (PhilAAPA) thus focused on the issues of edu-tourism and safety during its 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day forum.
Hosted by Enchanted Kingdom, the first and only world-class theme park in the country, the forum aimed to promote the culture of safety in the operations and maintenance of amusement parks and attractions in the country. Organized by PhilAAPA, the gathering further had the support of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
“This is a very important event for the industry. Although PhilAAPA members are competing in terms of businesses, we are all together when it comes to the advocacy of safety of amusement parks and attractions in the country,” said Enchanted Kingdom Inc. Chairman and President Mario Mamon, who is also the Founding President of PhilAAPA that was established in 2006.
He added, “Because if we keep our operations safe and sound, we can attract more guests from all over the country and maybe even from abroad.”
Mamon became the first industry executive from Asia to head the IAAPA as chairman. IAAPA is the largest and most important trade association of the attractions industry worldwide.
Representatives from the Department of Trade, Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Education (DepEd) were present to witness the manifesto signed by all PhilAAPA members and the Code of Safety signed by the Tour Operators during the forum.
Among the highlights of the landmark activity was a presentation titled “Safety Best Practices for Field Trips” by IAAPA safety committee member and Enchanted Kingdom park operations division head Blue Reyna.
Reyna talked about the most important guidelines for field trips, from ensuring reliable transportation and crewmembers, rout and itinerary planning, to the need for dependable tour operator and/or tour guides, and onboard safety.
Meanwhile, Franceen Gonzales, who has a 28-year industry experience as vice president of Waterpark Business Development, emphasized the importance of coordination and shared responsibility among tour operators, entertainment centers, parks, attractions, hotels, resorts and casinos.
Gonzales is a former IAAPA board member and a recipient of IAAPA Outstanding Service Award in 2014.
Other IAAPA delegates who imparted their expertise in the forum included Gerardo Arteaga, IAAPA chairman for 2015 and Fanta-silandia Chile chairman; Sascha Czibulka, Intamin Amusement Rides Int. Corp. Est (Liechtenstein) executive vice president; James Allen “Jim” Pattison Jr., Ripley Entertainment (Canada) president; Michael Anthony Turner, International Business Development, Neptune Benson (USA) vice president; Yas Fujii, S&S Worldwide Inc. GM, Amusement Ride Division Sansei-Technologies (Japan) vice president and executive director; Greg O’neill, Amusement & Leisure Services (Australia) co-director; and James Leonard “Jim” Seay, Premier-Rides (USA) president.
Current PHILAAPA members who attended the 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day forum listed Avilon Zoo, Boom na Boom (PETCO), Club Manila East Resort & Hotel, D Creative Adventures, Dahilayan Adventure Park, Davao Crocodile Park, Design Development Industries, Inc., Enchanted Kingdom, Inc., Festival Supermall, Funlines Amusement International Corporation, Fun Ranch, Gulf Leisure & Entertainment Corporation, Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park, Manila Ocean Park, Myth of the Human Body, Ocean Adventure, Paradise Ranch, Quantum Amusement Corporation, Resorts World Manila, Seri Fantasy World, SM Tickets, SM Family Entertainment Center Inc., Star City, Sun Cruises, Inc., The Mind Museum, Theme Builders Philippines, Inc., Ticket World, Timezone, TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc., Westech International Philippines Inc., World of Fun, Zamperla Asia Pacific, and Zoomanity Group.
There were also new PhilAAPA members inducted to the organization, namely Art in Island, DreamPlay, Funmania (Active Fun), Kidzania, JAM Liner Inc., and Puzzle Mansion. The inducted officer was Mayor Arlene Arcillas, Mayor of Santa Rosa City.