^ How many of those live within a reasonable enough distance, say within a 50 mile radius, to make it worth going?
Out of those, how many would be closer to Blackpool, with a bigger Sea Life and other attractions available on the MAP?
For those travelling from outside the area (the majority of MAP holders), how many are going to choose to make the effort to visit a shopping mall aquarium over a bigger version in a resort town, with a tower, Dungeon and Madame Tussauds thrown in with it?
Gavin is right, people are NOT going to visit this just to do the aquarium and leave. It's that simple. The thing is, most of the clientele who go to The Trafford Centre probably aren't even going to bother with this to be honest, so only time will actually tell if it's going to be as popular as Discovery Centre, but the more I think about it, the more I don't think it's going to work.
Merlin have 30 million visitors per year worldwide. I'd "guestimate" about 20 million UK visitors (Alton, Thorpe and CWoA make up around 8 million between them). It also makes the number easy.
So, 1% of annual Merlin visitors have an annual pass. Even if every one of those MAP owners visits an average of 6 times, it's still only (wait, the maths is hard ) 6% of the total visitors are MAP holders.
Not necessarily, the location this new attraction is in isn't strictly set to seasons, the Trafford Centre is busy year round, so a certain dedicated off season opening won't actually affect them more. The thing is, Sealife Centres etc. are on the bonus of inviting schools to take trips there as educational program's, it really won't matter then they open it, it'll do pretty well.