Adjunct Professor Olufunmilade Adeyemi is the visionary behind this initiative and is working with a team of consultants from Italy, USA, UAE and China in birthing this novel tourism haven. He speaks on the project.
Is Nigeria ripe for a residential amusement park?
The theme park market worldwide has grown dramatically during the last decades. For example, in the USA (where most of the theme park trends originated), theme parks have more than 200 million paid attendees each year. This strong consumer demand has resulted in the development of many parks. These parks are not only growing rapidly in size and importance, but also are investing substantial amounts in new entertainment and facilities, and extending their services into relatively unexplored areas such as catering and accommodation.
Also, Asia is the theme park market for the new millennium. Even more, several Asian cities, like Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, want to become ‘tourism hubs’, and theme parks are central to these plans.
Although in the Asian countries a shift from hopping centers to theme parks can be seen, the opposite can be observed as well indicating a growing role of retailing in existing theme parks. The relationship between merchandising and theme park visits clearly has potential for further growth, and the advantages of stimulating this demand are becoming increasingly recognized by theme park operators.
They are racing to obtain more profits out of their rides, activities and exhibits by linking rides to merchandise and placing goods at spots where visitors are most likely to buy, and that is close to the key rides, activities and exhibits The objective is to give people a part of the park to take home and share with others.
In Europe most theme parks were built in the last 25 years. First, theme parks were more a Northern Europe phenomenon, but recently, several regions and countries in Southern Europe have supported the growth of theme parks as an attractive option to increase economic input. Due to all these new parks built, the theme park market is saturating.
Consequently, the competition in the European theme park market is growing. Not only in terms of the growing number of new other parks, but also due to other uses of leisure time and discretionary expenditure such as home-based entertainment systems. Managers of large theme parks are concerned about the scale of the investments required to add new exciting rides, activities and exhibits to their product. Especially, a golden rule is that a theme park every year has to expand their park with a new attraction, to attract the required level of visitors European theme parks invest in average twenty percent of their turnover on new or better rides, activities and exhibits.
Nigeria with its population and young population is ripe for this amusement park and the Lekki Dinosaur Park, powered by the Crownsworth Nubian Company is set to give Nigerian families quality entertainment.
How soon will it materialise?
This project will take 18 – 24 months to be completed and has in its expertise line up, engineers and consultants from the United States, Greece, China and indeed Nigeria.
What kind of wild animals will the park offer?
The park will have over 40 animatronic dinosaurs, created from the same makers of the dinosaurs seen at the Jurrasic park movie.
This projects aims to give Lagosians and Nigerians alike quality entertainment as well as boast Nigerians family livelihood which is something lacking.