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In Memoriam - May 2017

Bo Kinntorph

Bo Kinntorph, IAAPA’s first international chair and former CEO of Liseberg, died March 16, 2017, at age 88.

Kinntorph always saw the value of being part of a global community. He was a key contributor to the internationalization of IAAPA and an “excellent ambassador,” according to former IAAPA president and CEO John Graff. Kinntorph’s IAAPA chairmanship (1992-1993) was a symbolic change for the association. International membership rose and he hosted the first IAAPA Summer Meeting outside the United States at Liseberg. He was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 1996.

Kinntorph, who was born in Arvika, Sweden, forged a lifelong career in the entertainment industry. He was a television producer and managing director of the Phonogram AB record company (previously Philips-Sonora) before joining Liseberg in 1973. He also helped develop the Swedish folk parks organization.

Kinntorph embraced the attractions industry beyond Sweden’s borders and introduced ideas from America and IAAPA into Liseberg. His commitment to IAAPA helped put the attractions industry on the world stage.

Kinntorph spent two decades transforming Liseberg into Sweden’s top tourist attraction. He achieved substantial growth, raising summer-season attendance from around 1.3 million to a record 2.9 million in 1987.

He demanded quality and was “great fun to be with,” says Mats Wedin, who succeeded Kinntorph as CEO of Liseberg Group in 1993: “He thought that entertainment should be fun not only for those who visit, but also for those who deliver it.”

Wedin recalls the “Play Room” where his friend and mentor would repeatedly pull apart and reassemble a model of Liseberg in new and creative ways. When Kinntorph retired, Liseberg had grown into a group that included park, hotel, campgrounds, and restaurant businesses. “It was his true love for entertainment and curiosity that changed Liseberg and aided in IAAPA’s development. He cared very much for IAAPA, as he did for Liseberg,” says Wedin.

Kinntorph’s wife, Lotta, passed away in 2014. He is survived by his children, Lena and Anders.