PortAventura is marking its 20th anniversary next year with the opening of its fifth hotel, the return of world-famous dance troupe Cirque du Soleil and a drive to establish the attraction as a destination resort in the minds of the UK travel trade.
Back in 1995, PortAventura, just an hour by train to Barcelona, started life as a theme park, but over nearly two decades, it has expanded to become a destination resort with two parks consisting of six theme-park worlds, an aquatic park, four properties, with the fifth due to come online in time for the summer 2015 season.
The new four-star property, Mansion de Lucy, will be located in the Far West-themed section of the park and will have 104 rooms.
Cirque du Soleil performed its Kooza show at the resort this summer, which saw the dance troupe return to its circus origins, however dates and performances have yet to be confirmed for the 2015 season. The park’s agreement with Cirque du Soleil means that the groundwork has been laid for the possible creation of a permanent base for the dance troupe at the resort.
Looking ahead to 2016, a new theme park is due to launch inside the resort. Some €100million is being invested in Ferrari Land, which will be the sole Ferrari theme park in Europe. It will lay claim to having the highest and fastest vertical accelerator in Europe, and also the park’s sixth and only five-star hotel, which will have 250 rooms, restaurants, shops and large simulation areas for car racing.
Looking ahead to 2015, international sales manager María Navas said: “Next year is a big one for us with our 20th anniversary and the opening of our fifth hotel. We are very keen to communicate to agents that we are very much a resort destination, with very close rail links to Barcelona, which is only an hour away. We are looking forward to working with agents next year, and are planning on taking some out on educationals to see our new hotel, Mansion de Lucy, when it opens and hear all about our plans for Ferrari Land in 2016.
“The UK market is a big one for us as it understands our offering, which can be seen in the fact that average holiday durations are between seven and nine nights.”