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19 Nov 2019
New IAAPA chair Amanda Thompson targets progress on safety and sustainability
By Andy Knaggs
New IAAPA chair Amanda Thompson targets progress on safety and sustainability
Amanda Thompson has been managing director at Blackpool Pleasure Beach since 2004

The development of a global safety standard for the attractions industry is high on the wish list of incoming IAAPA chair Amanda Thompson, whose tenure begins today (Tuesday 19 November).

Thompson, who has been the managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK since 2004, becomes only the third woman to chair the attractions industry association, and the first European woman. She hopes that she can encourage more women to "step up to the plate" in future, she told Attractions Management.

Asked where she felt the industry can improve, Thompson said: "A weakness is definitely not having a global safety standard. This is something which needs to be addressed, and that would be something I would love to see happen during my tenure."

Thompson takes over from David Rosenberg of Monterey Bay Aquarium in the IAAPA hotseat and pledges to continue the work that Rosenberg started on sustainability, identifying it as a very important issue for the sector.

Looking forward, she says she feels that consumers will want more hands-on experiences in amusement parks in the future, swinging back a little from virtual reality, while festivals and events within amusement parks will become bigger and more important. What is a certainty is change though: "Change is extremely exciting and our industry changes every day," she said.

Her goal as IAAPA chair is a clear one, and simply expressed: "To unite the amusement park world with safety, security and sustainability."

For more from Amanda Thompson and outgoing IAAPA chair David Rosenberg, see the latest issue of Attractions Management, available now.

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