by Hal McEvoy, President and CEO, IAAPA

Unprecedented. That is the word on everyone’s mind. In early January, IAAPA began responding to COVID-19 and its unprecedented effects around the world. First, the coronavirus began affecting the attractions industry in the Asia-Pacific region, and now, its effects can be felt in just about every city and every country.  While we are doing our part to “flatten the curve,” we are also remaining positive and looking ahead with hope. This is a time of uncertainty. The global attractions industry, along with so many other industries around the world, has all but stopped. Every day I talk to members who are worried about their businesses, their employees, their families — and each other.


Look behind the global attractions industry’s greatest rides, shows, food and beverage offerings, games, engineering and proactive maintenance, and you’ll find talented individuals. Our industry is rooted in people. And this global crisis is impacting people. 

Currently, our members are using innovation and passion to adjust their businesses so that they can continue to support their employees and communities. Manufacturers and suppliers are pivoting to produce personal protective equipment. Attractions are donating food and supplies to their communities and advocating on behalf of their employees.  

At IAAPA, we focus on connections. We have the privilege of being the connector for more than 6,000 companies and individual members. Throughout this crisis, we have created new ways to strengthen these global connections. A dedicated resource page on our website provides critical information for members about IAAPA’s advocating efforts in every region, updated information from leading health authorities and easy access to exclusive resources. Technology has allowed us to be nimble, and we have hosted webinars, Facebook Lives, chats on Twitter, conference calls and more — helping us to keep members connected with each other. Together, we host important conversations about our industry. With each interaction, with each program, with each connection, we come together.  

For more than 100 years, IAAPA has served every facet of the attractions industry. Now more than ever, we are here to serve our members and work alongside them as they make difficult decisions in an uncertain time. We will continue to be there every step of the way. 

This global crisis will pass. The attractions industry is resilient, and we will emerge in new ways. Families around the world will look to us to help provide smiles and create new memories. I am certain we will get through this challenge. We will continue to come together, work together and support each other in ways that are, truly, unprecedented.

This column originally appeared as part of Amusement Today‘s special COVID-19 edition, available digitally or as a downloadable PDF.