These leisure industry trends will shape 2022

Leisure industry January 12, 2022
These leisure industry trends will shape 2022 - picture from Briq Bookings

The one constant is change. For your leisure business this applies to the evolution of technology and games, as well as the changing expectations and interests of your guests.

‍On top of that, COVID-19 has undeniably affected the leisure industry. This will continue to have a big impact in 2022, adding to the rise of staycations and an increased interest in customized and safe experiences. 

So what can you expect from 2022 as a leisure business? Let’s dive into the 7 trends that will shape the leisure industry this year.

1. Sustainable and educational activities and attractions

Innovation, sustainability and education will become increasingly important this year. More and more venues choose to switch to a greener business model. Sustainable recreation can be anything from zero emission ekarting to taking advantage of the popularity of vegetarian dishes. 

Educational activities are also becoming more popular. For example, escape rooms can be used and considered as educational activities because they challenge a guests’ problem solving skills. 

Since it’s a thrilling game, it won’t even feel like you’re learning something. The educational aspect adds extra depth to your activity and transforms it into a complete experience. This is exactly what guests are looking for in 2022. 

2. Personalized experiences through mass customization

In every area of life, modern people expect to have a choice. In what they buy, how they decorate their house, the design of their shoes, and also in what they experience.

Instead of 1 standard experience for the many, the leisure world now shifts to many customized experiences for many different individuals.

Acknowledging that different people enjoy different itineraries, leisure businesses are now focusing on creating personalized experiences through smart booking and scheduling systems, like Briq’s multi-activity scheduling software.

When guests can customize their own experience in a leisure venue’s webshop, they’re more likely to book more activities and spend more time (and money) at a venue than when they can only select single activities. 

3. Staycations are a lasting leisure industry trend too

A staycation is all about a complete experience of an entire day of fun without travelling for too long. It’s a popular option for those who want to get away without having to consider travel restrictions or quarantine rules. 

To meet this demand, venues are starting to offer custom multi-activity packages that last the whole day. These packages include different activities as well as food and beverages. 

4. AI in support of leisure to enable contactless payments and social distancing

As Kevin Williams – publisher of The Stinger Report – clearly explains in our podcast, the leisure world had to digitize really fast as a result of the corona crisis. Not only did many leisure centers quickly switch to contactless payments instead of cash, they also had to look for ways to ensure social distancing through Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions that ensure capacity management. 

AI has become an integral part of the guest experiences of many activity and attraction parks. From digital waiting lines to email marketing campaigns and automated scheduling and capacity management, the leisure world will only continue to expand its use of AI to support frictionless fun in 2022.

5. Technological ecosystem through integration partnerships

The times that one big system covered all a leisure center’s tech needs most definitely belong to the past. Nowadays, to deliver the best products and services possible, software companies specialize in one particular area and team up with other specialists to offer the best overall solutions. 

That’s why it’s key to choose software providers that offer many integrations to set up the best tech stack possible for your leisure venue. For example, Briq Bookings takes care of online booking and scheduling, and teams up with many other software providers that are experts in their fields.

6. Machine learning and data insights are key to better experiences

With all that tech comes data. And with data the leisure industry no longer has to guess what’s best for their guests. With machine learning and all accumulated data combined guest experiences can now perfectly be tailored to specific demographics’ needs and wishes. 

What data you need to gather and how you can turn that data into tangible results for your leisure venue is written in our free ebook. With booking systems like Briq’s, that’s integrated with specific data gathering tools such as Google Analytics, you automatically gain all the insights you need to create better deals and to better promote your experience. 

7. Gamification, Augmented Reality and immersive experiences

Gamification is the addition of video game elements to (physical) activities. The goal is to create a playful and in most cases even an immersive experience, in which the guest is pulled into another world. This is definitely the case for activities and attractions that are (fully) digital such as virtual reality games.

For example, racecenter Immersive offers professional moving 4D race simulators with which you experience what it’s like to race in your favorite supercar. Speed lovers from all over the country come to Immersive to try the exclusive racing experience. And, of course, to improve their racing skills. 

Gamification doesn’t have to be fully digital. Many traditional leisure activities are also being gamified. Just have a look at what 501 Entertainment does – turning traditional games like darting into fun competitive socializing experiences.

Augmented Reality to immerse your guests in your experiences

Augmented Reality (AR) provides an interactive experience in which the real world is enhanced with computer elements through multiple sensory modalities, such as visual, haptic and auditory.

  • Escape rooms are a great example of how AR can be incorporated in an experience. AR allows you to hide secret objects, add digital cues and even transform the surroundings as the game proceeds. You can use cool visuals and projections that react to the visitors and change according to their actions.
  • VR technology can also be used to make waiting lines significantly shorter with virtual queueing. Virtual queueing solutions can count how many people come in, and even recognize if a visitor is wearing a face mask. This is very helpful  and it can help make visitors feel safer.

Create your free Briq account and automatically sign up for our Briq Buzz. Via this you’ll receive more information about the leisure industry, online marketing tips, best practices and benchmarks.

Meanwhile, also make sure to download our free ebook about using those data insights to get more bookings for your leisure venue. 

If you’r planning to expand your leisure center, learn which popular activities get you more profit.

Are you already visiting the IAAPA FEC Summit from the 23rd until the 25th of January?

If you’re not able to visit this summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, we recommend IAAPA’s webinar about trends for the leisure industry. Learn more about knowing your guests and improving your guest experience. We’ll be attending too!

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