Letter from the Chairman - November 2017

GregHaleCooperation. Collaboration. Innovation. IAAPA. 

Dear IAAPA Members:

This past year has been incredibly memorable not only for myself but for IAAPA, as the association marks an important milestone: moving its global headquarters from the Washington, D.C. area to Orlando. I commend the IAAPA staff for continuing to serve our industry so well amid all the challenges of relocation. This move is important for the future of the association, as it sets the organization up for a new era of service and impact on our industry by deepening its connection with our members. We look forward to sharing a little more about the new global headquarters building that is in design when we see each other at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 this month in Orlando.

During my time as chairman, I’ve been reminded once again how IAAPA is clearly the worldwide leader when it comes to keeping our industry connected and moving forward. I see this constantly in my area of expertise, as ride-design standards are now largely harmonized between ASTM, EN, and ISO. IAAPA has played a huge role in bringing all the relevant parties together to make these standards as comprehensive and cohesive as possible, all in the service of our industry’s customers. 

The work doesn’t stop there, though. Now that we have these harmonized standards, IAAPA is bringing even more people into the tent, ensuring rides developed in all parts of the world are synchronous with the adopted and agreed-upon best practices. I saw this firsthand earlier this year during my presentation at AALARA in Australia and meetings with key industry and government officials in Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Japan has already begun adopting ASTM F24 standards in place of its own national standards, and there is interest in Australia and South Korea to move toward international standards in place of their country-specific standards.  IAAPA is also establishing committees on a regional level to get involved, grassroots-style, with local governments and regulatory bodies to further this goal for standards adoption and growth of the industry. In August, it was my privilege to speak with a large number of government officials in Brazil about the impact our industry has on tourism and how it has spurred economic growth all over the world. We gained government commitment to work to ease tariffs on our industry’s products coming into that nation, which are currently a significant burden to the growth of the industry.

Collaboration, cooperation, and innovation within our industry have never been stronger. I am always honored to attend IAAPA events around the world where we all come together to share insights and experiences, and learn from one another in pursuit of our global goal of high-quality, successful operations. As IAAPA prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2018, I am as excited for what the future holds as I’ve ever been in three decades working in this business. I hope you are, too. 

Sincerely,

Greg Hale 
2017 IAAPA Chairman of the Board