TABATINGA, Coffs Harbour’s rainforest-themed tourist attraction, could soon branch out around the country.
Owners Brian and Cathy Parker are developing their brand as a franchise opportunity, on the back of business inquiries from far and wide.
“We have been business in Coffs Harbour since 2008 and during that time we’ve had numerous inquiries about franchise opportunities,” Mr Parker said.
“Surprisingly some of these have come from people who haven’t even been here yet, but have heard about Tabatinga from word of mouth.
“Knowing this we’d like to capitalise on the potential to see Tabatinga established in other centres.
“Tabatinga’s theming creates the wow effect for first time customers and the business model we have developed would suit centres with a population base of around 100,000 people, and centres like Coffs Harbour with holiday tourism industries, given our busiest periods are school holidays.”
The award-winning family fun centre, renowned for glow-in-the-dark mini golf, air cannon gaming, soft play structures, a cafe and an early learning centre has proven a hit with kids, having hosted countless birthday parties all year around.
“When we came up with the attraction we wanted it to be as much about education as it is fun and interaction for the kids,” Mr Parker said.
“We themed the centre on the rainforest experience to highlight how important rainforests are to the planet and we often find people assume we are part of a larger chain, which we are not, even though some of the attractions we have are found in popular fun centres in America.”
Mr Parker says Tabatinga takes its name from an Amazonian village, located on the borders of Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
In developing their franchise model, the Parkers have worked with Gloria Jeans Coffee co-founder Peter Irvine and have now pitched their proposal to the business market.
The franchises are suitable for both start-up family entertainment centres and existing play centre businesses.