Catalan theme park PortAventura hopes to reach 5 million visitors anually within the next few years
Investindustrial, PortAventura’s only shareholder since last November, will invest €75 million in enlarging the park’s facilities within the next five years. The amusement park, located in the Costa Daurada in Southern Catalonia, near Salou and Tarragona, has already been enlarged over the last few years adding the water park Caribe Aquatic next to the beach and several adjacent hotel resorts. Furthermore, the Italian group will change the park’s brand to: ‘PortAventura: European Destination Resort’. Investindustrial aim to reach 5 million visitors per year, half of which will come from abroad. As a start, the Italian group is investing €10 million in new projects for this new season, which will kick off on the 22nd of March.
Barcelona (ACN).- Investindustrial, PortAventura\u2019s only shareholder since last November, announced this week that it will invest \u20AC75 million in enlarging the amusement park\u2019s facilities within the next five years. The theme park, located in the Costa Daurada in Southern Catalonia (near Salou and Tarragona), has already been enlarged over the last few years adding the water park Caribe Aquatic next to the beach and several adjacent hotel resorts. Furthermore, the Italian group has disclosed that it will change the park\u2019s brand to: \u2018PortAventura: European Destination Resort\u2019. The company aims to reach 5 million visitors per year, half of which will come from abroad. As a start, the Italian group is investing \u20AC10 million in new projects for this new season, which will kick off on the 22nd of March. The Catalan theme park is the only profitable amusement park in Spain and one of the few in Europe. It ended 2012 with a total of 3.8 million visitors. Last year the park unveiled its brand new attraction the Shambhala roller coaster, which is the tallest in Europe. Besides, in November 50% of Portaventura\u2019s shares were bought by Investindustrial to Criteria Caixa Holding, Barcelona-based CaixaBank\u2019s industrial group. Within the next year the area is likely to attract a large amount of foreign visitors since the macro resort \u2018Barcelona World\u2019, which is made up of casinos, hotels and 6 other theme parks, is planned to be built next to Portaventura and, with both of them combined, the area will become a major international holiday and amusement resort, located less than 1 hour\u2019s drive from Barcelona.
From now on, PortAventura will be known as \u2018PortAventura: European Destination Resort\u2019, in order to highlight the theme park, the water park, the four four-star hotels with a total of 2,000 rooms, the beach club and the convention centre with capacity for more than 4,000 people. The main goal is to attract a larger number of international visitors, aiming for them to make up 50% of the foreseen 5 million annual visitors.
In 2012, in the middle of the recession in Spain, the Costa Daurada park attracted 3.8 million people, 1.7 million of which visited the new attraction Shambhala. 35% of the visitors in 2012 came from abroad, 21% more than in 2011. France continues to be PortAventura\u2019s main international market bringing in 45% of the international visitors. Last year it was followed by Russia, a market that increased by 75% in one single year, with more than 300,000 Russian visitors. The United Kingdom and Ireland brought in 20% of the international visits. In addition, the Catalan park also receives a significant amount of people from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.
Prioritising the water park
The 2013 season\u2019s main priorities are to consolidate Shambhala as the park\u2019s main attraction and to enlarge the Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, the water park adjacent to the theme park. Investindustrial is investing \u20AC10 million in enlarging the water park\u2019s facilities, which will reach 50,000 square metres, 14,000 more than the current area. The reformed Costa Caribe will open its doors in May.
The main attraction will be a free-fall toboggan, the tallest in Europe, which is 31 metres high (equivalent to a 12 story building). It will have a 55 degree slope and a speed of 6 metres per second. In addition, the water park will have a new \u2018multi bump\u2019 toboggan with a wave trajectory and two quick slopes. It will reach 19 metres high and will be more than 100 metres long. On top of this, a 6-lane toboggan will also be set up.
Besides the three new attractions, part of the investment will go towards improving the water park facilities targeting a family-type of visitor. Two new large swimming pools are also being built.
A \u20AC75 million investment over 5 years
The enlargement of the water park is the first phase of a \u20AC75 million investment plan to be developed within the next five years. Since Investindustrial joined PortAventura in 2009, \u20AC200 million has been invested in buying new assets and developing projects. In the future, the amusement park\u2019s expansion will be in the 70 hectares of land that the company owns next to the current facilities.