Today’s economy is an experience economy. A simple product is no longer sufficient for the customers. The inspiration for this article was a visit on the 16th of January. Safaripark Beekse Bergen is trying to follow this movement of creating experience just like many other parks, which was clearly expressed during the visit. One popular way for creating an experience is theming. Africa has been the theme of Safaripark Beekse Bergen for some years now. The African origin of many animals living in the zoo, the village and the restaurant are examples of the implementation of this. Even the signage has an African design. There is still room for an extension of this theme, making it a more immersive experience. However, as there is a small Asian part in the park, Safaripark Beekse Bergen cannot become fully themed.
Secondly, Safaripark Beekse Bergen has introduced a new event a few years ago. Africa by Light is an event where figures of animals and nature are lit and positioned primarily near the pathways. From the 4th of December until the 17th of January people could visit after the sun had set and the park was closed for the day visitors. The trend of year-round activities has led to more events in winter in order to attract visitors and to create an experience. Besides that, some animals have to stay inside in winter or the exhibits are renovated. This way all visitors can still enjoy visiting the park at this time of year, while Africa by Light adds an extra experience on top of the one already offered.
Lastly, Safaripark Beekse Bergen has an unique concept. The initial idea of a zoo is people watching animals enclosed in exhibits. This is still possible, but it is turned around here as well is some cases. In cars, busses or boats the people are enclosed rather than the animals, while the animals can get close to the visitors without any danger. This is not only innovative and different than most parks, but also removes the barrier between the two groups slightly. Now some zoos around the world have this concept or an adaption of it in their park, but the concept remains popular in the Netherlands.
In short, the experience economy urges companies to have innovative, original concepts and ideas. Safaripark Beekse Bergen is an example that, among others, follows this trend by their African theme, the event Africa by Light and the safari. With these components they distinguish themselves from the other zoos and deliver a unique day out.