Most visitors still to Efteling; loses number 1 brand spot to Ikea

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Illustration: Houses at Efteling in Anton Pieck style, photo by Danny Haak. Some rights reserved. 

Amusement park Efteling is still the most visited attraction in the Netherlands according to RTL (Dutch). The zoos at the number two and three spots of 2006 changed places last year; Blijdorp came in second, and Burgers third. Burgers feels the swap can be explained by the extra attention Blijdorp got after gorilla Bokito escaped there.

Efteling suffered a blow in another ranking though: that of strongest brand of the Netherlands. Where it led two years ago, now it has to let foreign companies Ikea (1st) and Google (2nd) ahead. The amusement park based in Noord-Brabant comes in fourth, according to the ad agency Consult Brand Strategy (Dutch, PDF), after Cliniclowns (care clowns).

In 1952 Efteling opened its doors to the public. The park was designed by Anton Pieck, whose pictures of small winding streets with crooked, cosy houses found a welcome echo in the park’s architecture and landscaping. Originally little more than a tea house in green surroundings, the park soon added its fairy tale forest with life size depictions of well known fairy tales (trick question: name three of the seven dwarfs from Snow White), and from the 1970s onwards it acquired all the usual amusement park traits such as dark rides, fast rides, a hotel and a golf course.

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