IAAPA's Premier Management Development Program for Attractions Industry Professionals

Cape Town, 18 - 20 August 2019


The Institute for Attractions Managers is IAAPA’s premier management development program. This 2,5 day course gives attendees detailed training in attractions management and is directed at emerging industry professionals, who have the potential to be on a senior management team or newly hired executives joining the attractions industry.

It is also an excellent program for managers entering the attractions industry laterally from other businesses providing a solid foundation on how attractions operate and what the industry’s key drivers and the metrics for success.


Why your staff should participate:

  • This comprehensive training will set your team up for success, build loyalty, and ensure the future growth of your facility.
  • The Institute provides a solid understanding on how attractions operate and what the industry’s key drivers and metrics for success are.
  • Attendees get a unique chance to network with their peers, build valuable relationships and grow their network.
  • The training is designed exclusively for the leisure industry by experts working in the industry

About the course

The IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers is a 2,5 day intensive course that gives attendees detailed training in attractions management featuring hands-on instruction and case studies.

Industry leaders will immerge your staff into five core topics and provide a closer look at how these issues are managed in the attractions industry:

  • Attractions Finance: Capital, expense and revenue budgeting, and other financial tools
  • Attractions Marketing: The role of public relations, media relations, advertising, group sales, and marketing
  • Attractions Leadership: Successful human resources development strategies to motivate a team
  • Attractions Operations and Safety: Industry regulation, facility best practices, and crisis management awareness
  • Attractions Revenue Operations: The role and importance of food and beverage, merchandise, and games.


For who?

  1. Emerging industry professionals, who have the potential to be on a senior management team
  2. Managers entering the attractions industry laterally from other businesses
  3. Newly hired executives joining the attractions industry

IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers in Cape Town

IAAPA is hosting the Institute for Attractions Managers in South Africa to cater to the request of the many members in Africa. The course will be organized in conjunction with the Annual AAVEA Conference (AAVEA 2019), offering attendees the chance to save on time, travel & hotel costs... IAAPA is bringing the Institute for Attractions Managers to you!


cape town

IAAPA Certification

Participants in the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers earn 16 credit hours towards IAAPA Certification. More information on IAAPA Certification is available here.

Reviews by attendees of previous institutes:

"I expected a lot and it matched my expectations."

"All speakers did an excellent job, I thoroughly enjoyed it."

"Amazing initiative. Perfect for mid-level managers with subject matter expertise, but no general management know-how."

IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers Faculty

Speakers to be announced soon.

Head of Faculty - Sandy Clark, Senior Manager Visitor Services, Expo 2020

Sandy Clark celebrated his 30th year in the industry in 2018. Starting in ride operations at Chessington World of Adventures he ventured into retail and general operations at Tower Bridge and The Natural History Museum in London before opening the viewing gallery at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard. Following that he worked with Engie Services Ltd looking into the feasibility of opening and operating new attractions. In September 2018 Sandy moved to Dubai to be part of the start up team for Dubai 2020 with specific management responsibility for two of the three main pavilions that will receive an estimated 25 million visitors between October 2020 and April 2021.

Sandy is committed to professionalizing the attractions industry to help attract young, aspiring talent to an industry which has so much global importance. As part of this Sandy sits on the Board of the IAAPA Foundation whose aims include building links between educators, students and the industry.

Mikael Ahlerup

Mikael Ahlerup, CEO, Lund Gruppen Holding

Mikael is the CEO of Lund Group in Norway, a family company for generations inside the leisure industry. The company owns a number of different businesses, for example the theme park Kongeparken, Lunds Tivoli, Christmas in Oslo, Skånes ZOO in Sweden, some of the big festivals in Norway, Palmesus festival (Scandinavia’s biggest beach party),… In total the Lund Gruppen had more than 2 million visitors in 2017.

Before his current position Mikael was the CEO of AIK Football Club, one of the largest clubs in the Nordic Countries and one of the 3-4 top teams in the Swedish Premier League. Prior to soccer, Mikael spread his solid background of the Leisure industry through Scandinavia with TUI Nordic and Orsa Grönklitt; a ski resort in the winter, a waterpark and zoo in the summer. Mikael was also CEO of Astrid Lindgrens World, Sweden.

Mikael is also currently serving on the Advisory Board of Lund Group of Norway and on the board of directors for Palmesus. In 2011, Mikael was awarded as the General Manager of the year in Sweden and he has been on the faculty of IAM since it started.

Massimiliano Freddi

Massimiliano Freddi, VP Strategic Development , Leolandia

Led by a strong passion for the amusement parks industry, after his studies in marketing and communication, Massimiliano began his career as a Marketing, Press & PR Manager Italy for Disneyland Paris. In 2008, he took on the challenge to join the team in charge of relaunching the 40-years old miniature facility Minitalia, Milano, and turned it into a cutting edge theme park. After running Leolandia as a General Manager for seven years, Massimiliano became V.P Strategic Development. The park is Italy’s number one park for families with children under 10, with a strong focus on safety, accessibility, environment and service.


Melissa Lockwood, Operations Director, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

Melissa Lockwood is the Operations Director at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi where she leads a team of more than 180 colleagues in the park’s 365 day operation. She moved to Abu Dhabi in 2012 to join the pre-opening team of Yas Waterworld. Since then she’s also spent time working at Yas Waterworld’s sister park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, in both Operations & Guest Services. Before relocating to Abu Dhabi, Lockwood held management positions for municipalities in Texas and Missouri in parks and recreation. She began her career as a lifeguard in 1998 and worked in several different roles at aquatic facilities and ice arenas throughout high school and college.

Lockwood is an IAAPA Certified Attractions Leader, an Ellis & Associates Instructor Trainer, a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive, a Certified Pool Operator and a Professional Pool & Spa Operator. She has delivered educational sessions at conferences for the Missouri Park and Recreation Association, the Texas Recreation and Park Society, the Texas Public Pool Council, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, International Aquatic Safety School – East, and the World Waterpark Association, as well as published articles for Aquatics International.

Lockwood holds a bachelor of science degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Missouri and a master of science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of North Texas.

Mairaj photo

Mairaj Muhib, Finance Manager, IMG World of Adventure

Mairaj Muhib is the Finance Manager at IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai (IMG), which is one of the largest indoor themed entertainment destination in the world. Mairaj leads a team of more than 15 finance professionals at IMG. He joined IMG in 2015 as part of the pre-opening team and was instrumental in setting up the finance function including the financial policies and procedures, operational controls, ERP implementation and management and financial reporting systems. Mairaj is a key member of the management team ensuring smooth financial operations at IMG.

Prior to joining IMG, Mairaj has spent most part of his career working with big 4 firms like Deloitte and Ernst & Young in India and the UAE respectively in the audit and assurance service line. He has served clients across various sectors including banks and financial institutions, construction and real estate, manufacturing and hospitality helping them set up robust internal controls, accounting and reporting systems and implementation and interpretation of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). He has also held training sessions on auditing and accounting standards at EY for internal teams and senior client finance professionals.

Mairaj holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the Mumbai University. He completed his Chartered Accountancy course in 2003 and is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India since then.

Practical summary

Date: Sunday 18 - Tuesday 20 August 2019
(Sunday: From lunch time , Monday & Tuesday: full day)
Location:  To be announced
Fee: R 10650,- (IAAPA-Members / AAVEA-Members)
R 12500,- (Non Members) 
Fee includes: Course tuition, materials and activities
Lunch & Dinner
Refreshments in class room
Coffee breaks
Certificate of Completion
16 IAAPA Certification Credit Hours
Notes: Must be 18 or older to attend. Must arrive on time and attend the full program to receive certificate of completion & IAAPA Certification credits. 

More information?

You can always contact IAAPA EMEA for more info. 

Andreas Andersen