The woman who heads Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been chosen to lead a world wide amusements park organisation this year.
Amanda Thompson has been elected chairman of IAAPA, only the third woman in its history to hold its top title and the first woman from Europe.
Amanda , who was awarded the OBE for services to tourism in 2012, was honoured at the opening event of the IAAPA Expo 2019, the association’s annual global conference and trade show in Orlando, Florida.
IAAPA has members across the globe from amusement parks, water parks, resorts, family entertainment centres, zoos, aquariums, plus manufacturers, and suppliers.
The conference attracted more than 38,000 industry professionals.
Amanda has been a member of IAAPA for decades and has served two terms on the IAAPA board of directors and has chaired the IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Regional Advisory Committee.
She said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be appointed Chairman of IAAPA.
“IAAPA has existed for over 100 years and represents the industry which my family has always been passionate about.
“In the early days of the association my great grandfather, William George Bean, spoke at the association’s meeting.
“Blackpool Pleasure Beach has always been heavily involved with the association and my grandfather, Leonard Thompson, was the first international member.
“My father Geoffrey Thompson was Chairman in 1996, so you can say I am following in their footsteps and that our family has IAAPA and our great industry running through our veins.”
IAAPA said in a statement: “Amanda brings lifelong industry experience and knowledge to the IAAPA role that is as much generational as it is personal.
“Amanda’s great-grandfather, William G Bean, established Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1896. Her grandfather, Leonard Thompson, assumed leadership in 1931, and her father Geoffrey oversaw the business from 1976 until 2004."
IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located attractions, IAAPA. Founded in 1918 it represents 6,000 members from 100 countries.