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IAAPA Launches European Campaign for a Better Business Environment

Press Release

Brussels, Oktober 15th 2014

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Launches European Campaign for a Better Business Environment


Europe’s new Commissioner with responsibility for tourism, Elzbieta Bienkowska, appeared before the European Parliament on the 2nd of October to present her priorities for the next five years. Ahead of this hearing, senior representatives of Europe’s amusement parks and attractions gathered at the Euro Attractions Show in Amsterdam for a meeting with Francesca Tudini, the Head of Tourism Policy at the European Commission, to urge policymakers to use the next five years to improve Europe’s business environment for amusement parks and attractions.


Senior representatives from the industry launched an industry manifesto, which they say is the start of a sustained campaign to ensure that the sector’s needs are considered by Europe’s politicians.

 ‘When politicians think leisure and tourism they need to think amusement parks and attractions because our members are attracting record breaking numbers of visitors and in turn jobs and investment for Europe', stated IAAPA’s Vice-President for Europe Karen Staley. ‘As our sector looks forward to the next 5 years we see that in several areas such  as VAT, Internal Market policy and labour law, there is still work to be done if our members are to have the best conditions for growth’.    


On VAT, Fernando Aldecoa, CEO of PortAventura, Spain said:

‘Research conducted by IAAPA Europe, shows that reduced rates of VAT for amusement parks is a win-win for governments as well as amusement parks and attractions. They have a positive impact on jobs, investment as well as on the overall tax take'.  


On safety, Jakob Wahl, Europa-Park, Germany said:

‘The safety of our guests is our number one priority and we want it to be the number one priority for politicians too! The industry in Europe is well ahead of the existing EN standard so we need Europe to commit to bringing its own standards up to our level’.


On employment, Andreas Andersen, President and CEO of Liseberg, Sweden said:

‘We place a huge emphasis on training our staff because it’s people that give our guests the memories that encourage them to visit us time and again.

‘Often we’re in the position of training people who are in the job market for the first time and we give them the skills they need to succeed in hospitality and leisure. We need greater recognition of the role that we play in equipping people for the labour market’.


IAAPA Europe plans to take the manifesto - which also includes industry views on sustainability, accessibility and tourism policy - to Brussels where a presentation to Members of the European Parliament is scheduled for the 4th of November.




Notes to the Editor:


About the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,700 attractions, suppliers, and individual members from more than 90 countries. The association’s global headquarters office is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, Hong Kong and Orlando, Florida, United States.


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