Yorkshire Wildlife Park
- Sector: Leisure
- Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
The lion kings
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wild Life Group, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing attractions, with annual visitor numbers reaching more than 750,000. The draws for all those people coming through the gates of the 300-acre site include numerous big cats, the only polar bears in England and a series of renowned walk-through animal areas.
"We have developed and grown by investing in Yorkshire Wildlife Park year on year, with new species, new attractions and developing commercial activities," says Cheryl Williams, Director of Sales and Marketing. "Zoos have changed significantly over the past decade and Yorkshire Wildlife Park has been ahead of this with innovative reserves and experiences."
The company is constantly looking for new ways to ensure that it is at the front-of-mind for its target audiences and continually conducts market research on pricing and value for money. It has also become adept at using technology, according to Cheryl.
"The leisure industry is constantly changing, with new standards of experience, quality and technology. Keeping ahead of these is both a challenge and an opportunity," she says. "Technology cannot replace the thrill of seeing a tiger face-to-face for the first time, but it does give us greater capability to reach audiences, engage with them and convert them to customers."
With more than 300 employees at the height of the season, the Wild Life Group is one of the biggest employers in the Sheffield area. In addition to its position as a major visitor attraction, the park also plays an important role in terms of animal conservation and welfare. In 2010, for example, it rescued 13 lions from Romania.
In the future, there should be even more for visitors to admire, as the business has recently acquired a further 150 acres. "The next big opportunity is the planned expansion of the park," says Cheryl. "This will give the group the opportunity to make Yorkshire Wildlife Park a major national destination."