Japan's theme parks get creative as they seek to attract visitors
Japan Times -- Nov 28
From a television commercial that gives a humorous twist to a theme park’s impending closure to hotels staffed by robots, tactics to capitalize on company outings, and ads featuring Japanese pop idols and actors — theme parks in Japan are squeezing their creative juices to attract more first-time visitors and repeaters through avant-garde ways.

Firms in the sector are hoping to ride the momentum of the expanding domestic theme park market, which marked another record in 2016 in terms of size, thanks partly to an increase in foreign visitors to Japan.

The Space World amusement park in Kitakyushu will close by the end of December. The self-deprecatory take on its demise, as seen in its commercial, has caught public interest.

The commercial (bit.ly/spaceworldCM) goes something like this: While a melancholic piano melody is played in the background, a male executive, who stands at the center of around 100 workers, says aloud, "Nakunaruyo!" which means in Japanese "It will be gone," in this case in connection with the park's closure.

The people around him then raise their fists and say with a smile, "Zen-in shugo!" (Everyone gather!) The ad is a parody of a hugely popular live comedy show aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting Station TV network from 1969 till 1985, titled "Hachijidayo! Zen-in Shugo" ("It's 8 o'clock! Everyone Gather").

The Space World amusement park will be closing at the end of 2017, its operator said last December.

News source: Japan Times
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