Research Outline

Tourist Attraction Innovations


To compile four case studies that focus on innovations that tourist attractions have come up with. The innovations should be relevant to any of the following areas:
• Way-finding
• Animal interactions
• Exhibit interactions
• Playgrounds and play areas
• Rest areas
• Transport around large parks
• Shows, demonstrations, live feedings, etc.
• Ticketing
• Food & Beverage
• New business models to increase revenue
• Driving repeat visits from tourists and locals
• Bonding tourists (family, friends and strangers)
This research should be focused specifically on zoos, bird parks, and Disneyland. In the event that case studies for these specific types of establishments cannot be obtained, the scope of the research can be expanded to focus on similar establishments (i.e. theme parks, museums).
For each case study, the following should be provided: 1) a brief description of the attraction, 2) an analysis of the innovation, 3) the business implication/results/success metrics/outcomes of the innovation (as much hard data as possible for this part), and 4) any comments/quotes from individuals who have visited the attraction and have commented on the innovation (i.e. highlight the uniqueness of the innovation/experience).

Early Findings

Oakland Zoo Case Study

Description of the Attraction:

  • The Oakland Zoo was founded in 1922 and features over 700 animals.
  • This zoo is home to one of the largest wild animal veterinary hospitals in Notern California and is reknown for its elephant care program.

Analysis of Innovation:

  • The Oakland zoo partnered with Schultz & Williams to help drive repeat visits and introduce a new business model to increase revenue, as detailed in the attached case study.
  • In doing so, the Oakland zoo revised and relaunched their gift membership campaign (membership sales as a gift offer -- i.e. individuals purchasing zoo memberships as gifts).
  • To accomplish this, the zoo re-framed the gift-giving opportunity as a way to "support the Zoo's conservation mission," used social media targeting and prospect segmentation in their campaign strategies.

Business Implications:

  • The results of these efforts lead to twice as many responses over the previous year's campaign and a 120% increase in net income, along with a 64% increase in net revenue.

Visitor Comments/Quotes:

  • No visitor comments/quotes were located in relation to the gift membership campaign, even after analysis of social media posts regarding this campaign.
  • While there are a large number of reviews about the zoo overall, these reviews tend to be more general and nostalgic in nature rather than commenting on specific initiatives taking place at the zoo.