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European Amusement Parks Call for Robust Protection of IP Investments

29 June 2017

European Amusement Parks Call for Robust Protection of IP Investments  

(Brussels, Belgium) - Representatives from European amusement parks and attractions met in Brussels, on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 with Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission to discuss how to protect and promote innovation. The meeting was hosted by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Europe, Middle East, Africa (IAAPA EMEA).  

“Innovation is a significant growth enabler for the entire European tourism sector, which is why we chose this theme for this year’s conference,” said Karen Staley, Senior Vice President IAAPA EMEA.  

"The parks and attraction’s industry is a key player in the EU tourism sector, and tourism is at the heart of a peaceful and wealthy Europe. I am glad to be here today to open this event, focusing on how innovation can help parks and attractions to thrive and prosper to the benefit of the whole European economy,” commented István Ujhelyi, Member of European Parliament, who opened the event with a keynote speech. 

“Innovation stands at the core of our business model, as we need to reinvent ourselves from season to season to offer our guests unique and memorable experiences,” added Michael Kreft von Byern, Chair of IAAPA EMEA’s Government Relations Committee and Representative of the Board at Europa-Park. “Innovation also means investing in our own or licensed intellectual property. These investments need robust protection”. 

Speakers talked about various facets of innovation in parks, such as innovative use of digital content or design of new and exciting rides. The valuable collaboration between parks and intellectual property (IP) owners of successful films, books or video games was also a major discussion point. The positive impact that the use of IP can have on smaller amusement parks was also discussed. “IAAPA is honoured to have a number of small parks in its membership. It’s clear that licensing IP has helped many of these parks reach audiences that would never have found them otherwise,” said Karen Staley.  

More than 50 delegates heard from István Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament; Iuliana Aluas, Head of the European Commission’s Tourism Unit; Sarah Jacquier, Legal Officer at European Commission’s Copyright Unit. The  three panels featured speakers from some of the most attractive parks from across Europe: Andreas Andersen, President & CEO of Liseberg (Sweden); Miikka Seppälä, Särkänniemi’s CEO (Finland); Eric Cosset, Director, Parks Operations, Product Integration and Development at Disneyland Paris; Fernando Aldecoa, General Manager of PortAventura World (Spain) and many more. Participants were also able to share views with representatives from some of the most innovative amusement ride manufacturers such as Thorsten Koebele, Chief Officer Sales & Marketing of Mack Rides (Germany) and Jeroen Holman, Business Development Manager from Vekoma Rides (Netherlands). 

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from 99 countries. The association's global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The nonprofit organization maintains offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Alexandria. www.IAAPA.org @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA


Notes to editors

  • For a selection of photos from the event please click here: http://bit.ly/2sUBbLI
  • The full programme for the third Government Relations Summit can be downloaded here
  • IAAPA has been supporting the European industry since 2001 and established a Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) office in 2008. Ever since, we are the voice of the European amusement park and attractions industry with over 1.400 European members. Membership ranges from large amusement park groups and ride manufacturers to small operators, family entertainment centers and suppliers. This diversity of membership is reflected in the board that oversees the association’s activities.
  • IAAPA EMEA’s flagship event is the Euro Attractions Show (EAS), the biggest and most significant trade show and conference in the European attractions industry calendar.

Contact Information
Karen Staley
Senior Vice President, IAAPA EMEA 
+32 492 720 268 

Erik Zolcer 
Manager, Government Relations, IAAPA EMEA 
+32 2 609 54 45