Visitors of amusement parks and attractions have fun topmost in mind, but behind the scenes, serious business takes place to ensure everyone enjoys their outing in safety and security.
The Philippine Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (PhilAAPA) raised the issues of edutourism and safety in the industry’s 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day.
Edutourism is travel for recreation and education, which develops critical thinking, cultural empathy, innovation, creativity and curiosity in students.
The entire event was organized mainly to promote a culture of safety in the operations and maintenance of amusement parks and attractions in the Philippines, especially in light of the drive for edutourism.
Enchanted Kingdom, the first and only world-class theme park in the Philippines and one of the founders of PhilAAPA, hosted the 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day in its grounds at Sta. Rosa, Laguna in the Enchanting Events Place.
“What we are about to do this morning is very important for the industry,” says Enchanted Kingdom Inc. chairman and president Mario Mamon in anticipation of the best practices in safety forum.
Mr. Mamon was the founding president of PhilAAPA, which was established in 2006 to help grow the attractions industry in the Philippines.
In 2014, he became the first industry executive from Asia to head the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as chairman. IAAPA is the largest and most significant trade association of the attractions industry worldwide.
Mr. Mamon has been involved with IAAPA since 1992, when he conceptualized and supervised the construction of Enchanted Kingdom.
“Alam naman natin, kahit na kami sa PhilAAPA competing in terms of businesses, tungkol sa advocacy at safety ng amusement parks and attractions industry, we are all in this together, because we know, if we keep our operations safe and sound, we can attract guests from all over the country and maybe even from abroad,” he says.
The 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day featured a seminar on Safety Best Practices for Field Trips by IAAPA safety committee member and Enchanted Kingdom park operations division head Blue Reyna.
He specified guidelines for field trips, starting from ensuring reliable transportation and crewmembers, planning the route and itinerary, to being a dependable tour operator and/or tour guide and onboard safety.
Safety Best Practices for Field Trips aimed to enhance the industry’s operations with regard to the safety and security of student and teacher groups.
The safety forum also emphasized the importance of coordination and shared responsibility among tour operators, entertainment centers, amusement centers, parks, attractions, hotels, resorts and casinos, because the business, reminds 28-year industry veteran Franceen Gonzales, is as much about enriching lives and the responsibility of keeping people safe as it is about providing fun.
Ms. Gonzales is a former IAAPA board member. She received an IAAPA Outstanding Service Award in 2014.
PhilAAPA members signed the organization’s Manifesto to adopt the Philippine National Standards at the conclusion of the 2nd PhilAAPA Tour Operators Day. The Manifesto commits members to a culture of safety and best practices in their operations and maintenance.
The members of PhilAAPA include Active Fun, Art in Island Inc., Avilon Zoo/Ark Avilon, Boom na Boom, Club Manila East Resort & Hotel, Dahilayan Adventure Park, D Creative Adventures/Kulturang Pinoy/Touch of Aura/Sumo Science Center, Davao Crocodile Park, Design Development Industries Inc., DreamPlay, Enchanted Kingdom Inc., Festival Supermall/Pixie Forest/X-Site, Fun Ranch, Funlines Amusement International Corporation, Gulf Leisure & Entertainment Network Corporation, Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park, Kidzania Manila, Manila Ocean Park, Myth of the Human Body, Ocean Adventure, Paradise Ranch/Butterfly Kingdom/Safari Water Falls/Little Baguio, Puzzle Mansion, Quantum Amusement Corporation, Resorts World Manila, Seri Fantasy World, SM Family Entertainment Center Inc., SM Tickets/Mall of Asia Arena, Splash Island/Global Gutz, Star City, Sun Cruises Inc., The Mind Museum, Themebuilders Philippines Inc., Ticket World, Timezone/LAI Philippines Inc., Tom’s World Phils. Corp., TUV Rheinland Philippines Inc., Westech International Phils. Inc., World of Fun, Zamperla Asia Pacific and Zoomanity Group.