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Port Aventura to lose out to Paramount theme park

Thu 28th Jul 2011

A lot has been written in the press of late with regards to the the much publicised Paramount Pictures Theme Park in Murcia.

Every indication is that the 3.5 million sqmt site will open for business for the 2014 summer season. The park is located just 15 minutes from the beach and the resort of Puerto de Mazarron, and will be divided into differently themed zones each with movie-inspired themes, such as Star Trek, Titanic and Mission Impossible. There will also be a ‘Lifestyle Centre' with 2 five-star hotels, 3 four-star status and a number of three-star hotels. The resort will also benefit from themed shopping malls, restaurants, bars and clubs, a 3'000 seat conference centre – and an open-air auditorium to accommodate 15,000 people.

The impressive range of facilities, together with links to the region's motorway network, having a dedicated link to the country's AVE high speed rail network, and excellent connections to the regions new Corvera International airport (to open by 2012) have prompted Paramount Executives together with the regions Tourist board to forecast as many as 5 million visitors coming to the park every year.

It expected that 3 Million of these visitors will fly into Corvera International airport, however, San Javier airport is located just 19km away and El Altet just 80km away, both with good links to many European airports.

By comparison, Port Aventura, located south of Barcelona, looks set to fall victim to the success of the new Park.

In an Industry which makes it's name on the most current rides and attractions, this makes the Catalan park, which opened for business in 1995, positively ancient.

Worse still, Ryanair, the main airline serving the nearby Reus airport, has already cut operations amid on-going contractual disagreements with the Catalan Regional Government, and have even threatened to pull out of the airport altogether.

After Reus, the nearest airports to the theme parks are Barcelona at 110km away and Castellon at 130km away, however, the latter has attracted huge criticism in the press for being a 'white elephant' airport with very few connections.

As things stand Paramount, which is set to become Europe's largest theme park, will relegate Port Aventura into 7th position. Paramount is also rumoured to have taken investors on board to extend the site further still within the next five years, whereas Port Aventura, who are owned by the la Caixa Corporation, simply state on their website that there is to be 'Investment and amplification', without giving further details.

So what does this mean for the Port Aventura theme park?

The general opinion of regular contributors on the forum is that the outlook is bleak. The community of theme park enthusiasts believe that the park has had it's day and that it would require a significant investment to make Port Aventura attractive to tourists and Business delegates once again.

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