Research Outline

Tourist Attraction Innovations


To provide case studies on innovations from tourist attractions (mainly animal attractions), like new business models, that are driving repeat business from both locals and tourists, to inform the client’s knowledge base.

Early Findings

Busch Gardens Award-Winning Animal Attractions, Featuring the Animal Care Center

  • Busch Gardens is one of the brands of the parent company SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and can be visited in Tampa, Florida or Williamsburg, Virginia. The Florida park has one of the “largest, most highly accredited zoo facilities in the US,” giving a home to some of the most endangered animals in the world.
  • Tampa’s Busch Gardens is home to over 200 species of animals, from exotic to endangered, as well as favorites for all Americans. This collection includes rhinos, sloths, cheetahs, tigers, lions, gorillas and primates, elephants, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, zebras, penguins, kangaroos and macropods, flamingos and birds, meerkats, alligators, snakes, reptiles, gazelle, and antelope.
  • One highly-popular and notable exhibit is their Up-Close Rhino Encounter, which allows visitors to engage with black rhinos and white rhinos [3] through a “unique off-road safari.” This 45-minute experience takes riders behind-the-scenes to see how these animals are cared for, as gives riders a chance to “touch one of the park’s white rhinos.” After that, riders move to the center of the 65-acre Serengeti Plain portion of the park to provide snacks to an endangered black rhino. Reservations are required for this experience.
  • Another of their innovative exhibits is the Rising Tide Conservation Exhibit, which is a 270-gallon aquarium located in the Nairobi section of the park that “is a non-profit that focuses on methods to breed fish alternate to collecting from the wild.”
  • Most notably, Busch Gardens also offers a state-of-the-art animal care center, where visitors can observe animals being cared for. [2] This facility offers everything for animal care, including nutrition care, x-rays, surgeries, and other medical care for the park’s animals. This part of their park is featured on the “hit Emmy-nominated TV series, The Wildlife Docs,” which “takes viewers inside the work of zoological professionals, including Busch Gardens' own veterinarians and trainers.”
  • Busch Gardens’ animal innovations and care have earned a coveted certification from American Humane Conservation, “the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being.” The park passed the rigorous requirements based on the conversation organization’s analysis, which was verified through an independent auditing firm.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s park attendance “grew by 4.5 percent from just under 4 million visitors in 2017 to seeing over the 4.1 million mark in 2018.” This parks ranks “11th out of the top 20 amusement parks in North America.”

Findings Summary

We provided one more case study on an innovative animal attraction.