Reference case

Parks and Resorts

From theme parks to experience professionals – how Parks and Resorts became thought leaders

Parks and Resorts Scandinavia manage the theme parks of Gröna Lund, Kolmården, Furuvik and Skara Sommarland with a cumulative visitor count of almost three million annually. The total revenue is 1,3 billion SEK. However, in 2010 the recently established group lacked a clear structure for future growth. The then CEO of the organization, Jan Roy, contacted Kairos Future to get a better understanding of the future of experiences. The goal was to build know-how in the business itself, but also to inspire the industry as a whole – to make the journey from “merely” a theme park, to becoming a creator of world-class experiences and thought leader in the growing experience industry.

Within the framework of the collaboration, research was done to establish a clear image of what trends drive the future of the experience industry: Shifts in values, technological developments, fundamental psychological factors, successful concepts from adjacent industries all across the world, et cetera. The end result was a thought leader report containing seven key insights about how to create the top-class experience of the future.

– Nobody had previously approached this problem structurally, and studied what the future of experiences might look like, which meant we got a great amount of attention both among industry peers but also among the general public. Myself and the then marketing director – today CEO – Christer Fogelmarck, held talks about the results of the study in many locations, says Jan Roy, former CEO of Parks and Resorts Scandinavia.

The report was used within Parks and Resorts to secure a future-proof strategy for the entire organization, and to raise awareness among partners and suppliers, financiers and current and potential employees. It’s still used today, even by other businesses, organizations and tourism educators, and is one of Kairos Futures’ most enduring trend reports, read by thousands of actors in the experience industry and other stakeholders.

– For this project, Kairos Future were an invaluable resource. Not just because of their experience with business intelligence and future studies, but also because of the external perspective they provided. It’s hard to get that kind of big picture view yourself, it almost requires an external resource, says Jan Roy.

What does it take to become thought leader within an industry?

– To successfully undertake a thought leadership project requires an understanding of the industry, to identify potential threats and opportunities in play, and a clear idea of what your own organization can and intends to change. Besides this, it requires a long-term perspective and the courage to look a good distance ahead. A successful thought leadership project can give a very good head start compared to other actors, says Jan Roy.

Parks and Resorts have grown with around 50 percent over the past ten years, and have successfully positioned themselves as thought leaders within the industry. Does your organization intend to be the one setting the agenda, the actor all others must account for in your industry? You don’t need to be a big organization to become a thought leader – but a thought leader has a great amount of influence. You can read more about thought leadership here, and if you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Johanna Danielsson

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