Insights, News

What’s Next for the Experience Economy and Consumer Trends?

From cruise-ships to backyards and even shopping malls, FlowRider has adapted meticulously to evolving consumer trends over the last three decades. We’ve seen waves of trends rise and fall, and witnessed the success of those that capitalize on them. As we enter into a new era for inland surfing and are seeing generational shifts in spending habits, what exactly is the outlook for consumers and attractions  in the years to come? Dive in with us as we explore a shift in consumer mindsets and its impact on the attractions industry.

The Experience Economy Shows No Signs of Slowing

If we had to bet on one thing continuing to grow over the next few years, it’s the experience economy. Over the last decade, millennials have overhauled the way in which disposable income is being spent. According to EventBrite, 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on an appealing experience opposed to buying something tangible. We expect that these numbers transcend beyond millenials, as similar habits are appearing more frequently through all generations. Through the influence of the preceding generation and social media, Gen Z is  following suit, ensuring that the experience economy grows continuously into the future.

Across all markets, the experience economy is altering the ways in which venues think about their business models. The difference with FlowRider is that we have spent the last 30 years with the experience economy at the core of our business. Since our inception in the 90s, our mission has always been to deliver the thrilling experience of riding a wave anywhere in the world.

As previously mentioned, FlowRider is no stranger to the concept of the experience economy. In 2007 we partnered with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to put the very first surf-simulator onto a cruise ship. This was an opportunity for RCCL to elevate guest experiences to a level never seen before. Since then, we have installed over 23 waves across 19 of their ships. So while the experience economy may not be new, it is still pushing out new trends that are defining the way consumers spend money.

Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

Competitive Socializing and New Markets

‘Competitive socializing’ is the most notable trend to come out of the experience economy over the past few years. Whether it’s mini-golf, axe-throwing, darts, or golf, sports of all types are being paired with food & beverage elements that construct a lively atmosphere with the goal of keeping guests on premise longer. You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t participated in some form of competitive socializing in recent times. These types of attractions are proving to be successful and have no signs of slowing down as the consumer demand for social experiences continues to grow.

So where does FlowRider fit into this equation? Surf House Helsinki is the perfect example. Utilizing a FlowRider Double as the main attraction, they are a stand-alone venue boasting a full-service beach restaurant and bar. Surf House Helsinki is the epitome of competitive socializing and is a venue type that we predict will see substantial growth in the coming years.

People watching person on flowrider
Surf House Helsinki

While axe-throwing and mini-golf might make for a fun night out, these options aren’t associated with a booming lifestyle. As our sister company Endless Surf has said, ‘Surf is Taking Over’. Surf and the lifestyle that comes with it has seen massive growth since 2020 and is predicted to grow steadily into 2032. With a small footprint and a technology that caters to beginners and experts equally, FlowRider is bridging the gap between a growing trend in competitive socializing and the booming lifestyle of surf.

A New Era for FlowRider

The experience economy reaches far beyond any one generation. From growing families to Gen Z and younger, its rise has influenced multiple generations setting the bar for consumer expectations. The sector of retail, dining, and entertainment is on track to become a staple in the new era of leisure developments and FlowRider is coming along for the ride. We helped our clients adapt and respond to countless consumer and attraction trends over the last 30 years and the next few decades won’t be any different.

To find out how combining competitive socializing and the surf lifestyle can launch your business to new heights, contact us below.