OC&C Fundex’s recently-released global study of 40,000 consumers across 600 leisure and hospitality brands, shows consumers are prioritising exposure to an engaging and fun experience.

The research shows that creating a fun experience is becoming an increasingly powerful way for the attractions and leisure industry to nurture great reviews, help word-of-mouth advertising and generate repeat performance, resulting in improved financial performance.

The report flagged up how creating a fun experience is a driving factor into helping guests make their minds up about deciding which attraction and leisure venues to visit. Consumers’ attitudes to fun will help brands figure out the most effective ways to provide better experiences for their guests, the study found.

David Foster, Associate Partner at OC&C, commented:

“The findings of this study have wide reaching implications for hospitality and leisure brands, as the benefits of being a more fun leisure brand for the first time are proven to be real and significant. More fun brands typically benefit from a higher number of positive personal recommendations, better reviews and stronger brand loyalty.

“These factors are becoming even more important in a world where guests are increasingly looking online for inspiration when deciding where to go, are visiting a greater variety of brands and are less convinced by old-fashioned value-based promotions.”

The study also highlighted how consumers, particularly younger generations, are opting to spend their money on receiving great experiences opposed to products.

As Foster added:

“We’re also seeing a shift in generational behaviour. Millennials and Gen Z are the consumers of now and the future, and are increasingly demanding, less brand loyal and are preferring to spend money on experiences rather than products.

“Understanding how to offer more fun experiences should be a high priority for brands wanting to appeal more strongly to these generations and gain competitive advantage.”

The OC&C Fundex report identified Thorpe Park as the ‘Most Fun Brand’ in the UK, boasting an average ‘fun’ score of 83%.

The research also uncovered how different nations are crafting a fun experience for leisure and attractions’ consumers, with the French having the least fun of all the countries surveyed. The British fared as ‘mid-range’ fun providers, with the Chinese and Americans heading the fun creating table.

“Our research helps to understand why the French, the Germans and the Brits have less fun than American or Chinese leisure guests. Not only are they nations of bargain hunters – a character trait associated with guests that claim to have less fun – they also spend a lot of time alone with their partners despite not having very much fun with them,” Foster continued.