The power of IPs Theme park operators have long known the value of IPs in creating amazing visitor experiences. Now the museums and heritage sector is starting to work in this area, creating opportunities for collaboration
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rom Mickey and Minnie to Harry and Hermione, theme park operators have deep experience of deploying IPs to drive the development of physical and digital assets to create billion dollar values. Now the heritage and museums sector is starting to get into its stride in exploiting the potential of its IPs for the creation of new attractions and visitor engagement. Leading the way were initiatives such as the Louvre and Guggenheim being licensed into Abu Dhabi and now we’re witnessing an acceleration of this trend, as developers worldwide go looking for a fast track to success, by partnering with precious, unique cultural properties. In this issue, for example, we report on a new heritage and cultural centre in San Weng, Jiangxi Province, South China, which will see the development of replicas of William Shakespeare’s homes as visitor attractions. The developments are the result of a collaboration between Fuzhou Culture Tourism Investment Group in China and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the UK. San Weng – a new town currently under construction – will celebrate three masters of literature, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Tang Xianzu, the Ming Dynasty playwright and ‘Shakespeare of the Orient’. As part of the tribute, the town will feature an entire quarter dedicated to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace (see page 29 for more details). This growing interest in celebrating heritage is creating opportunities for museums and heritage brands of international significance, to both spread their influence and generate revenue by sharing their IPs for the good of all. A phenomenal new report, Heritage and the Economy 2018, just published by Historic England, gives deep insight into why heritage IPs are so sought after by nations where culture is valued, but in short supply.
Shakespeare’s birthplace will be replicated in China
Authentic IPs are sought after in places where culture and heritage are valued, but in short supply It proves how the presence of heritage boosts property values, tourism and job creation and injects value into local economies, saying: “Places with strong, distinctive identities are more likely to prosper than places without them.” As these markets converge, there are learnings to be shared between sectors as operators work to optimise commercial opportunities, while ensuring authenticity.
Liz Terry, editor email@example.com @elizterry