Afternoon Thrill Seekers,
My second interviewee in our series of 2013/2014 reviews is Gavin Boswell, CEO and Co-Founder of Orlando Attraction Tickets, quite a busy man as you can probably imagine I managed to catch 20 mins with him early last week.
Name: Gavin Boswell
Who do you work for?: CEO of Orlando Attraction Tickets
What was 2013 like?: From a business standpoint 2013 was hugely successful. We smashed year on year targets by up to as much as 250%. Much of this success we pin heavily on the redesigned website and increased marketing spend, we also worked very hard on getting the correlation between our car rental customers (Gavin founded www.usrentacar.co.uk when he was 24) and ticket customers right, this helped both brands.
With regards to the parks we’ve had new products from Universal including the new Simpsons area and Transformers the Ride. We’ve had Disney building and testing My Magic+ and changing the tickets from a cardboard style to the RFID plastic cards. SeaWorld opened Antarctica Empire of the Penguins their largest expansion in Orlando ever. LEGOLAND Florida revealed the World of Chima which has been very popular but its 2014 that has me most excited. All the major parks look like they’ll be launching something new which is great for the consumer.
Your highlight of 2013?: Getting bronze in the British Travel Awards, an amazing achievement for us and something I’m pretty proud of.
Your Best Park 2013?: Now you’re going to get me in trouble here as I’m going to annoy at least one of our suppliers. Can I say all of them? Ok fine!
I’ll pick Universal Studios, when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Islands of Adventure, Studios footfall fell and experts were saying the park couldn’t compete. Universal reversed this trend by opening Transformers the Ride and updating the Simpson area, footfall increased and that was even before they announced Diagon Alley was on its way! So for me they’ve been the star of 2013.
Your Best Attraction 2013?: SeaWorld’s Antarctic area, I was very lucky to be in attendance at the media opening. The whole area looks amazing and the ride is perfect for the family… but the real highlight are the Penguins. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been as close to a Penguin as I was at SeaWorld.
In regards to Theme Parks, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?: What am I not looking forward to!!! 2014 is packed with goodies! As I mentioned earlier all the major parks are releasing something. Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, Hogwarts Express connecting Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Disney’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but if pushed I guess I’m most looking forward to Falcons Fury at Busch Gardens, a 335 foot face first drop ride. You’ve got to be brave to ride that one.
Make a 2014 prediction…: Well I’m pretty sure 2014 will be a bumper year for theme parks but that’s hardly a prediction with so much going on. So I’ll make a business prediction, in 2014 we’ll release something that will get lots of people talking…
A very cryptic ending to the interview, but some great answers in there. The interview was quite rushed as Gavin was about to leave for Florida to chat pricing with suppliers but I’m pretty happy with how it came out.
You can read through my previous interview with Kelly Morris here. The next interview will be with someone outside of Orlando Attraction TIckets I promise.