Indian amusement parks make a plea for reopening by October 1

Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI), an apex body representing the interests of Amusement Parks, Theme Parks, Water Parks,and Indoor Amusement Centre in India has made a representation to the Home Ministry for allowing the reopening of the Amusement Park and Entertainment Parks in the forthcoming Unlock-5 guidelines of the Ministry to be effective from 1st October, with a rider/condition that these Parks will be allowed only for visitors above 14 or 15 years of age.

The reopening of the amusement industry needs the active support of the Government to tide over this crisis on account of complying with lockdown procedures since March 25, 2020. This will help in bringing the small but important industry back on its feet which is otherwise fighting for survival.

The plea comes in the light of the Government’s decision of reopening many other sectors and activities such as hotels, Resorts, Malls, Gymnasiums, Religious Places, Metros, and Museums. The government has also allowed social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, nd political functions,and congregations w.e.f. 21st September as also open-air theatres from the same date, in non-containment zones.

The opening of Amusement Park, Theme Park will play a pivotal role to de-stress the population by active outdoor activities giving holistic recreation as the outdoor Parks are spread across large areas of open land surrounded with lots of plantations and landscaping, suitable for better social distancing management. Further,this will help boost domestic tourism.

Ajay Sarin, Chairman – Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI), said, “Over the last 6 months, the stry has faced job losses, salary reduction,and there has also been a closure of many businesses related to amusement sector due to the pandemic. Many of the smaller parks might not be able to open again as the event industry is highly capital intensive, seasonal as it operates mainly from mid-March – July due to climatic reasons, high operational & manpower costs considering the ty and security of visitors.  Generating approx. 80,000 direct employment and contributing to the government exchequer significantly, the event industry forms a major part of social Infrastructure playing a vital role in nation-building as it offers active outdoor & indoor recreation for kids, youth,and families from middle and lower-middle-class strata of the society.”

Rajeev Jalnapurkar, Vice Chairman, IAAP and CEO – Ramoji Film City said that with the opening of malls in India, Indoor Amusement Centre (IAC) should also be allowed to operate under controlled guidelines as IAC is paying heavy rental to mall operators since lockdown due to pandemic. Today, survival in the need of the hour for the industry which is even ready to open the amusement park/theme parks with 30-40% capacity in the containment zone.

Amusement Parks, Theme Parks and Indoor Amusement Centres (Entertainment Parks) will no longer be unsafe as Parks will be strictly following the SOPs, guidelines and directives given by health ministry and local administration in the Parks namely:

  •  Controlled pre-booked admissions / proper use of ticketing system to ensure social distancing
  • Screenings & temperature check of all visitors to the park including its employees at entry
  • Sanitization & disinfection of surfaces repeatedly through a properly guided process
  • Social distancing on ride seating → Controlled F&B activities as per FSSI norms
  • Keeping visitors in open areas and not to allow entry in confined spaces              

IAAPI has also prepared SOPs under guidance of professionals from the medical fraternity following proper methodology and process towards safety of guests and employees and we assure that the Amusement industry will strictly follow all the guidelines and SOPs set by the Government and Local administration.