Amusement parks bind families, rake in moolah

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They are dispensers of endless thrills and bring our boisterous nature to the surface. This makes amusement parks—rollercoaster rides, baby train, break dance, caterpillar ride, Columbus, Ferris wheel, mono-train, food courts and other attractions—wholesome family entertainment destinations.

“Amusement parks offer wholesome entertainment to families, besides facilitating pleasant interaction among family members.

In fact, they are ideal stress-busters,” says Mr V.G.P. Ravidas, past president, Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) and managing director, VGP Universal Kingdom. Besides, they provide fresh air and good food.

There are 15 amusement parks in Tamil Nadu and many players are set to foray into tier-II cities though smaller cities like Salem and Ooty already have such attractions.

Sources in the industry say that on an average a family spends Rs 1,000 upwards per visit to an amusement park in addition to the entrance fee of Rs 100 to Rs 500 per person depending upon the category of park.

While locals find gainful employment, promoters have to invest heavily to run the show the year through.

“Running the theme park is labour-intensive. It requires about Rs 5-`Rs 10 crore for establishing an amusement park on 5-50 acres. Big promoters spend about Rs 200 crore,” says Mr Ravidas.

Due to recurring expenditure for periodic maintenance, including housekeeping, landscaping, security, operations, most promoters depend upon funds from their flagship companies.

The amusement parks also draw foreign tourists apart from domestic tourists, according to sources in the tourism department.

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