Aug. 14--Accesso Technology Group, the attractions-industry company with North American operations based in Lake Mary, has its eye on South Korean theme parks.
Accesso just signed a three-year deal with South Korean consultant Vision Works Global to help broker deals with attractions there for ride reservation technology.
"We see that as a fantastic opportunity to perhaps extend our footprint," said Tom Burnet, the company's chief executive officer.
South Korea's theme parks include Everland, which features a zoo, water park and rides. Twentieth Century Fox last month announced plans to build a South Korean theme park as well.
"South Korea is a thriving market with existing large theme parks," said Dennis Speigel, the president of the International Theme Park Services trade group, in an email. "It is reasonable that companies from America are looking to direct their product there, particularly in view of the future and what is to come."
Accesso wants part of the action, but "doing business without being local is really tough," Burnet said. "It became clear that the operators we were speaking to felt it was really important to have somebody local on the ground with whom they could have a day-to-day relationship and engagement."
Accesso has quickly grown into one of the largest technology suppliers in the attractions industry, with clients including Universal Orlando and Six Flags Entertainment Co. The current company was created in 2012 when British Lo-Q bought Lake Mary's accesso in a $22 million deal. The combined company took the accesso name.
Accesso has about 70 employees in Lake Mary and plans to hire about 10 more throughout the year.
Also in the past few weeks, the company announced deals to provide new technology platforms for Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto and SeaLife Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
Accesso already ran ticket-sale software for Ripley's, but the new deal provides for it to manage the aquarium's Web store presence as well.
At SeaLife, it is providing a full range of services, including technology that allows customers to order tickets via iPad instead of waiting in long lines.
The theme-park industry has undergone a lot of consolidation, dominated by big players, Burnet said.
Over the years, he said, acquisitions have created some big players in the theme-park industry.
"While at an operator level there's been this consolidation ... the supply chain guys like us haven't really -- to my mind, anyway -- scaled to match that growth," Burnet said. Accesso, he said, is aiming to become "a supplier of scale to serve the global market into these big organizations that have been created."
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