More than half of consumers in the UK, US and China expect virtual reality to be part of their experience when they visit theme parks in the next three years, a new poll reveals.
As many as 62% of people in the US and UK and 70% in China predict that theme parks will be using virtual reality technology for both entertainment and visitor guidance.
Voice-activated mobile apps (41% overall) and personal digital assistants (38% overall) were the next most popular choices.
More respondents in China (51%) think 3D printing will be used to produce personal merchandise, than in the US and UK (29%).
Robotic personal assistants are also seen as more likely to make an appearance in China (49%) than in the US and UK (22%).
The findings featured in the first theme park barometer exploring the predictions of more than 2,000 visitors by software and services firm Omnico.
A third of all respondents expect to see augmented reality games at theme parks and 27% believe that electronic wristbands may be replaced by temporary tattoo tickets.
When asked what technology they would like to use in the future, the top three were to have the ability to pre-book the entire trip (89%), choose a limited number of specific deals relevant to the individual visitor (85%) and have the ability to buy anything using a cashless device (82%).
Omnico Group chief, executive Mel Taylor, said: “With so much innovation in the home, it is hardly surprising that visitors now expect theme parks to adopt cutting edge technology to provide enhanced experiences and levels of service.
“These types of technology will not only provide new forms of entertainment, they will assist visitors with finding their way around and help with queue-reduction and crowd-management.
“The results of our theme park barometer show that theme parks and resorts that rest on their laurels will be left behind in the face of rapidly-increasing visitor expectations around the use of technology.
“Investing in customer service and experience is as important as putting money into new attractions.
“While tastes and requirements vary in different parts of the world, visitors are united in wanting operators to integrate technology so they can have an enjoyable and memorable experience.
“This does not require major investment in completely new solutions, but intelligent integration.”