Who will be the European Theme Park Talent of 2017?

The new winners of the European Theme Park Talent contest 2017 are known. See the webcast about the contest and get to know this years Talent(s):


Read here all about the contest:

After the success of the first talent contest in 2016, NHTV (university of applied sciences  in Breda, the Netherlands)  is looking for the newest European Theme Park Talent.  NHTV is the first university in Europe that educates future managers of theme parks, attractions and zoos in a special track named: Attractions & Theme Parks Management (ATPM).  This University has also higher ambitions. It wants to be the future knowledge- and expert centre of the  European Theme Park Industry. Together with the European theme park industry is the university looking for looking for new talent. European students from secondary school, or a higher level vocational degree in the field of leisure, attractions or recreation can participate.

Incubator of talent

Goof Lukken, one of the lecturers of ATPM at NHTV says: ‘We want to be the incubator of theme park talent. Many people dream ofworking in this beautiful industry, but only a few are suitable.  A European Theme Park Talent needs to be a commercial, hospitality-friendly and creative manager in order to be successful in the future. We are one of the top tourist-universities in the world and we only want the best students to come to Breda. We will announce the second  European Theme Park Talent in spring 2017. He or she will win a meet & greet with one of the members of the professional jury, Olaf Vugts. He is the CEO of imagineering at one of Europe’s  leading theme parks, the Efteling”.

The competition

To find this talent the NHTV created a new competition last year: The European Theme Park Talent.  Therefore contestants need to present an innovative idea for a European theme park, attraction or zoo. In the final, candidates will have to answer  questions about the industry and pitch their best innovative idea for a theme park, zoo or attraction in their country.  A professional jury (with both lecturers and industry professionals)  will decide who is the European Theme Park Talent of 2017. Last year the first talent was Rutger de Wit. He was very enthusiastic: “By winning this contest I got great opportunities. I got the chance to meet Olaf Vugts the CEO of imagineering at the Efteling, and it became more clear to me that I really want to work in the attractions industry”.

To participate

The competition is open to everybody who is in his/her final year of secondary school, or has a bachelor degree or a higher level vocational degree in the field of leisure, attractions or recreation. The first round is a national round. Per EU-country one candidate will be entering the Finals. To enter the competition students will have to pitch their most innovative idea for a theme-park, zoo or attraction they know. This pitch can be a sketch, a story,  a video or a small text.  Goof Lukken: ‘We want students to show their vision on the industry. Maybe they have great ideas about new rides or attractions or even new concepts for shops, or restaurants. The  most important rule is that they are new, creative and innovative ideas’. Deadline for the contestants is Wednesday, March 22nd.


Every EU-country will have one place for a contestant in the final. The finalists will be announced by a European press release.  In a special vlog the last three finalists will be announced.  The European Theme Park Talent 2017 will be amongst these three finalists and we be announced  at the end of the vlog. The vlog will be online on May 4 th.


Send your idea and participation to lukken.g@nhtv.nl with your details such as your name, age and mobile phonenumber.

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