Alton Towers continues to show how awesome (at least when it comes to creativity) their marketing department is:
The Alton Towers Resort has confirmed it will not be running new ride Th13teen on Friday 13th August. The decision follows in-depth research which found that over 30 million Brits* consider themselves superstitious ( 64 % of UK, 62 % in the Midlands) and that one in three will change their behaviour on Friday 13th August for fear of bad luck.
As a result, the Alton Towers Resort has made the unexpected decision to temporarily close the ride as they fear that a large proportion of visitors will not feel comfortable riding a rollercoaster named after the number 13 on what many feel is the nation’s unluckiest day.
According to the research, which was undertaken in conjunction with superstition expert Professor Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol, a surprising 62% of people in the Midlands are superstitious -with the majority of superstitions based around bad luck. Nine out of ten people admitted to acting on these fears and a quarter (one in four) believe that Friday 13th is unlucky. Such precautions are not as trivial as they may seem, with loss of business due to superstition estimated to cost the US economy $800-900 million every Friday 13th**.
As a result, the Alton Towers Resort has decided to take the controversial step of closing Th13teen for the day on Friday 13th August – the first time the theme park has chosen to close a ride. Th13teen, which opened in March 2010, is the UK’s first ‘free-fall drop’ coaster and is based on the discovery of an unearthed crypt. Built on an ancient burial site, Th13teen takes riders on a gruelling journey through the Dark Forest where they face a battle with the unknown.
According to Professor Hood, the author of “SuperSense: From Superstition to Religion - The Brain Science of Belief,” these findings are not surprising. He said, “There is little evidence that superstitions have declined over the past 10 years and indeed recent studies show they increase in times of economic recession. People don’t like to tempt fate.”
Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director at the Alton Towers Resort said, “Our research has revealed that Brits are a seriously superstitious bunch and as our latest ride is named after the unluckiest of numbers, we’ve taken the decision to close that ride on Friday 13th to reassure our visitors. The rest of the Alton Towers Resort will, of course, be open for business as usual for braver guests! THI3TEEN may be the most technologically advanced rollercoaster in the UK but guests can still enjoy our other famous rides such as Nemesis and Oblivion, as well as our fun family attractions and amazing entertainment.”
· 31.6 Million Brits are superstitious
· 62% of people in Midlands consider themselves superstitious
· 1 in 10 of the UK population would not go on a rollercoaster on Friday the 13th
· A third of people (32%) change their behaviour on Friday the 13th for fear of bad luck
· Most popular superstitious beliefs in the Midlands:
- Breaking a mirror is a bad omen (64%)
- Walking under a ladder is bad luck (66%)
- Touching wood makes something come true (45%)
· 16-34 year olds are the most superstitious age group with 73% considering themselves to be superstitious compared to 58% of 45-54 year olds.
· Glasgow and Norwich are the most superstitious cities in the UK, Manchester and Sheffield are the least
· Women (74%) are more superstitious than men (50%)
· 49% of people do not know where their superstitions originate from