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EUROPE’S HIGHEST ROLLER COASTER HITS PEAK

The new attraction will beat a double European record for being the highest (112 metres) and fastest (180 km/h) roller coaster.

This milestone marks a defining moment in the construction of Ferrari Land, the theme park that will faithfully reproduce the true spirit of the Prancing Horse.

The arrival of Ferrari Land will consolidate PortAventura World’s position as a leading holiday destination in the world that offers 3 theme parks in one resort.

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PortAventura World Parks & Resort continues with works for what is destined to be the jewel in the crown for Ferrari Land, the new theme park inspired by the Prancing Horse, which will soon become part of the resort’s range of family leisure activities. The construction team achieved one of its most challenging goals by reaching the highest point (a height of 112 metres) of Europe’s future highest roller coaster.

A team of experts has been commissioned to manually screw in the last piece and calibrate and adjust the structure, in an action of extreme complexity that has required the use of two cranes that stand over 120 metres high. Luis Carlos Valencia, PortAventura’s development manager, explained that “as in the case of Shambhala, this has been an operation of almost surgical precision, only possible under optimal wind conditions“.

The Ferrari Land accelerator will stand at a mighty height of 112 metres and will take the title of Europe’s highest roller coaster, even beating PortAventura World Parks and Resort’s very own Shambhala (76 metres). This vertical accelerator will be an incredible experience for speed lovers: passengers will experience the same sensations that are felt in Formula 1 racing with an acceleration of 180 km/h in just 5 seconds, the equivalent of 1.35 G. They are shot 112 metres into the air, and then plummet back down at a maximum 90° angle.

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Greatly inspired by the F1 legend, the attraction will be entirely painted in “Rosso Corsa”, the charismatic and exclusive racing-red colour typically associated with Ferrari.

A record-breaking project

The Ferrari Land vertical accelerator will be an incredible addition to the records held by PortAventura Parks throughout its 20 year history. Ferrari Land will occupy an area of 60,000 m2 and will have many exciting new attractions, that are pumped with adrenaline and have a significant technological bias -a treat for families and fans of the Ferrari brand of all ages.

The greatest challenge faced by PortAventura Resort’s development team has been to create a project that faithfully reproduces the essence of Ferrari with the utmost respect for PortAventura Parks’ own special way of creating dreams for visitors“, adds Luis Carlos Valencia.

Ferrari Land is the largest project in the history of PortAventura Resort, with an investment of approximately 100 million Euros. More than 50 companies have been involved in the various phases of the project and it is expected that, once opened, it will generate up to 150 direct and indirect jobs.

The completion of the construction of Ferrari Land is scheduled for late 2016, and following the grand opening, PortAventura World Parks & Resort is confident of attracting 5 million visitors per year.

Technical data

>   This roller coaster will achieve speeds similar to those experienced by a Formula One driver during races.

>   The track will cover a distance of more than 880 metres and the ride will last 180 seconds.

>   There will be 3 trains, with 12 seats each.

>   The ride will set two new European records:

1. Europe’s highest roller coaster (112 metres)

2. Europe’s fastest roller coaster (180 km/h)

Laura Valdeolivas, newly-appointed as Head of Business & Events and the PortAventura Convention Centre, will be in charge of this latest phase of our development.

 PortAventura, 20th August 2014 – PortAventura has decided to promote its activities in the area of Business & Events; a sector that has maintained a steady rate of growth in recent years, even during hard times for the economy as a whole. PortAventura Business & Events has been busy throughout this period, transforming itself into a benchmark-setting organiser of major events for clients such as Nike, L’Oreal, Sharp or Dow. PortAventura has now set itself, as a key objective, the task of acquiring new clients in countries such as France, the UK and Germany, while breaking into the markets of the United States, Russia, Scandinavia the Benelux countries and elsewhere.

PortAventura is entrusting the leadership of this project to Laura Valdeolivas, formerly in charge of commercial management in our Events Division, who has now been promoted to Head of PortAventura Business & Events. This move will allow the company to rely on its existing Business & Events team, which will be reinforced by the addition of professionals specialising in both the commercial and event-organisation aspects of the venture.           

The versatility of this division of PortAventura has allowed it to organise all manner of events, including 75 this year alone for companies operating on both the domestic and international markets. More than 50,000 people in total have attended these events, where they have able to take full advantage of the services offered by the PortAventura Convention Centre, along with the resort’s hotels and leisure park facilities. Visitors from Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the United States and the Netherlands have come to attend conferences and conventions, incentive-related events, business meetings and sports fixtures. The highly versatile nature of its facilities has also allowed PortAventura Business & Events to host events relating to socially-aware and charity initiatives, including cooperation between the PortAventura Foundation and AFANOC (a family association for children with cancer); a local Down’s syndrome charity or Carrera Solidaria, which organises charity runs; along with corporate events for firms such as Volkswagen-Audi España, Cobega, Torres, TUI France, Peugeot España, Zurich España, Ferrari or Unilever. This autumn, the PortAventura Convention Centre will be the venue for such key events as the Catalunya-Costa Daurada Catalan RAC Rally, now in its tenth year and a qualifying part of the World Rally Championship.

Laura Valdeolivas, Head of PortAventura Business & Events

Laura Valdeolivas is a graduate in Protocol and Event Management of the European University of Madrid, with a degree in Protocol, Institutional Relations and Event Management awarded by the International School of Protocol and a higher qualification in Institutional Relations awarded by Miguel Hernández University. She has more than 15 years experience in the MICE sector, initially as a Congress Associative at PharmaMar and more recently at PortAventura. She joined our Business & Events Division in 2008 as Events Operational Director, contributing decisively to the initial setup of the PortAventura Convention Centre. She then went on to take charge of our commercial events team, before being appointed Head of Business & Events.

 

On Saturday 31st August, Cirque du Soleil gave the final performance of KOOZA at PortAventura to end a highly successful summer season:  since its arrival at PortAventura on 11th July more than 100,000 spectators have been thrilled by KOOZA.

The two companies have benefitted greatly from the outcome of their first partnership and will soon enter Into talks to explore future collaborations.  For PortAventura, with almost 4 million visits, this venture is a step further forward with its strategy to set, year after year, new benchmarks on an international level that position the Resort as the best family leisure destination in Europe and, in particular, allow further growth in foreign tourism, which now accounts for almost 50% of all visits. In recent years, PortAventura has opted for a strategy of internationalisation and the incorporation of new projects every year since 2010 with an investment of over 125 million Euros.

This business plan will continue to develop over the coming years with the construction of Ferrari Land, the new theme park dedicated to the Italian brand, and the first Ferrari theme hotel.

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PortAventura Resort se consolida como el mayor destino turístico del Mediterráneo con KOOZA de Cirque du SoleilComplemento ideal para eventos, congresos e incentivos. 

El circo de renombre internacional instala su icónica carpa por primera vez en el resort temático líder en Europa. A lo largo de los últimos años, PortAventura ha llevado a cabo una estrategia de expansión ininterrumpida con el objetivo de convertir el resort en un gran destino vacacional referente en toda Europa. Para conseguirlo, ha apostado por una estrategia de internacionalización y la incorporación de nuevos proyectos año tras año con una inversión desde 2010 de más de 125 millones de euros.

Este plan de desarrollo continuará en los próximos años con “Ferrari Land”: PortAventura ha llegado a un acuerdo de licencia con Ferrari para realizar “Ferrari Land” un nuevo parque temático dedicado a la marca italiana y el primer hotel temático Ferrari. Asimismo, para la presente temporada destacan dos grandes novedades: la inauguración de una espectacular atracción “Angkor: Aventura en el reino perdido” y la incorporación del espectáculo KOOZA de Cirque du Soleil como gran novedad de la temporada de verano y que el pasado 14 de julio celebró su premiere en PortAventura.

Este acuerdo supone la unión entre dos grandes empresas del sector del turismo y ocio referentes a nivel mundial. De este modo, PortAventura se convierte en el primer resort de Europa en acoger un espectáculo del Cirque du Soleil. Para PortAventura, con casi 4 millones de visitas, este proyecto constituye un paso más en su estrategia de crear año tras año nuevos referentes de nivel internacional que posicionen al resort como el mejor destino de ocio familiar de Europa y, en especial, permitan seguir incrementando el  turismo extranjero, que actualmente casi representa el 50% del total de visitas.

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On 28 March, at the Tarragona Congress Centre, the Formal Constitution of ChemMed Tarragona took place (Mediterranean Chemical Cluster), a project carried out by the Asociación Empresarial Química de Tarragona (AEQT – Chemical Business Association of Tarragona). This event was attended by the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Artur Mas, the secretary general for State infrastructure, Manuel Niño, and the mayor, Josep Fèlix Ballesteros.

Also present was Belén Madrid, MICE Director for PortAventura Business & Events, along with 30 other organisations from the sector supporting this event.

“In Tarragona we have all the necessary elements to develop the future challenges of the sector.  An industry in the service of our region’s economic progress” said Jesús Loma-Ossorio, president of the Chemical Business Association of Tarragona (AEQT).

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Friday 21st March was the date of the 3rd Canal CEO Breakfast, an initiative sponsored by PortAventura Business & Events and SaxoBank.

The highlight of this latest edition was an appearance from psychologist María Jesús Álava with her book “Las tres claves de la felicidad” [The three keys to happiness]. It was rather fitting that this new book was presented merely hours after the international day of happiness had taken place.

María Jesús Álava was interviewed by journalist Juan Ramón Lucas. Álava explained her experience and revealed her methods of research used to extract as much information and the best documentation possible. In preparation for the book, a study was carried out of more than 700 people from whom conclusions were drawn that were very interesting and crucial for this book. These include the importance of happiness, which is based on self-love, taking charge of one’s own life and, most importantly, learning to forgive oneself.

The study also highlights other areas such as “The happiness of women”. This particular aspect has been in decline over the last decade due to the increased number of roles women fulfil each day and it is also shown that within a corporate structure freelancers are the happiest.

Another issue that arose during the discussion was how is it possible to improve the workplace environment?

Alfonso Morodo, partner at Global Premium Brands, assured that it was necessary to be able to distinguish the orientation given to this type of action, as work must be targeted at producing value.

Productivity fully linked to motivation was also one of the key themes of this breakfast.  Belén Madrid, MICE Director at PortAventura Business & Events, explained that it is important to know how to combine the operational role with a team approach to make it possible for staff to proceed in the same direction initiated by management.

Some of those attending the breakfast emphasised that the CEO must be a figure capable of inspiring and of being inspired and must know how to transmit this sentiment to their team or surroundings.  Psychologist María Jesus Álava maintained that the primary point for this is personal engagement and with the culture and management of the company.

PortAventura, 13 de marzo de 2014. – PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U. (“PortAventura”) has reached a licensing agreement with Ferrari S.p.A. (“Ferrari”) to establish “Ferrari Land”, a new theme park dedicated to the global brand of Ferrari within the PortAventura destination resort near Barcelona, Spain.

The new branded site (expected to open during 2016) will be the sole Ferrari theme park in Europe and will envisage a total investment of more than €100 million. Ferrari Land will be built on a total surface area of 75,000 square meters and benefit from several rides (including the highest and fastest vertical accelerator in Europe), a new premium hotel with 250 rooms and 5 star service, restaurants, shops and large simulation areas for car racing.

This new partnership with Ferrari, the world’s most powerful brand for the second consecutive year (according to the annual Global 500 report, February 2014), and PortAventura (Europe’s second largest destination resort and the largest in the Mediterranean) will allow the resort to further improve its position as a leading European destination resort. At present, PortAventura receives nearly 4 million visits annually, of which nearly 50% are from outside Spain.

PortAventura: an expansion strategy

Over recent years, PortAventura has executed a strategy of continued expansion with the aim of turning the resort into a leading destination resort in Europe. To achieve this, the company has developed a strategy of internationalization and the incorporation of new projects every year since 2009 with an investment of over 125 million Euros.

The construction of a new area for children, SésamoAventura, was the first of these investments in 2011, followed within a year by the construction of Shambhala, Europe’s highest roller coaster. In 2013 it was the turn of Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, the resort’s water park, which was extended and furnished with new record-breaking attractions.

And for this year, the theme park is delighted to launch yet another outstanding attraction: Angkor, an ride that takes visitors on a boat trip through a lush jungle to face a number of challenges and adventures. PortAventura also recently unveiled an agreement with Cirque du Soleil, the world’s leading theatre company. During the months of July and August, the Canadian troupe will install its Big Top in the resort to perform one of its most celebrated shows, ‘Kooza’. The agreement also lays the groundwork for the possible creation of a permanent base for Cirque du Soleil at the resort in the near future.

Andrea Perrone, Managing Director of Ferrari Brand, the subsidiary responsible for managing all activities regarding the use of the Ferrari brand said “After the successful experience of the Abu Dhabi Ferrari World we have received numerous requests to launch new Ferrari theme parks. After a thorough selection process, we have selected Investindustrial’s solid project backed by skilled and experienced people and the opportunity to bring the Ferrari allure in Spain where there are a lot of supporters and fans including a lot of tourists attracted also by the PortAventura destination resort. “Ferrari Land” will further strengthen the Ferrari brand in the region. “Ferrari Land” will appeal to entire families as well as Formula One supporters. We will continue to further look at the launch of additional Ferrari theme parks outside of Europe with no rush, while continuing to maximise the value of our prestigious brand without diluting it.”

Sergio Feder, PortAventura Executive Chairman: “Since entry we implemented a long term plan supported by well-known international brands to increase visitors to approximately 5 million yearly and to transform PortAventura into the best destination resort in Europe. Ferrari is an obvious choice not only for the values the brand represents, but also for their experience in the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park. For us, it is also an honour to collaborate with such a worldwide recognized brand”.

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When everything is on the move, it’s time for marketing to stop and think

These are not good times for the corporate world, mired in the depression of the domestic market and internationalisation plans full of paradoxes and unknowns to be cleared up. The changing trend in consumption-forced by the economic downturn and the evolution of new paradigms created by the continuous development of technology -generates uncertainty and, therefore, a revival, sometimes hysterical, of the natural tension between sales and marketing departments.

A few days ago I met a businessman who was forced to declare his business bankrupt at the beginning of the economic downturn in Spain, in 2007, but who discovered how to redirect his talent- ultimately reinventing himself-by exploiting the value of his contacts and knowledge acquired during his former professional life.

Now he is dedicated to helping Spanish companies to set up in the United Kingdom, with a very high rate of success and satisfaction.

Whilst providing me with some information on his new job, one thing-above all others-caught my attention. This businessman, having changed to a profession that for decades has been called an “intermediary” and that we now know as “broker”, “adviser” or even “influencer”-due to our penchant throughout the ages to define, in the most sophisticated way, each and every role in life-heartily lamented the inferiority complex invading Spanish companies when they go into foreign markets, their inability to recognise their own merits, their difficulties in communicating their products or business models, and because of this, their lack of prestige and inability to create added value.

The result is that the Spanish product, despite its quality, is bought only “by price”. And if the consumer can pay a little more, preference goes to an Italian or French product, even though it may be of inferior quality.

Surely, by now, the sales and marketing departments of companies in the process of internationalisation that are reading this article have already entered into in depth discussions and also, how could they not?, in conflict. It is to be expected. Because despite the interpretation of the theoretical rivalry in office meetings between “marketing” and “sales” as a positive and stimulating factor, the fact is that the usual way, especially in times of economic downturn, is to invest too much energy, resources and time blaming each other for mistakes that revile business results and impede attainment of the objective, which is simply to generate value for the company.

However, it seems that both “marketing” and “sales” departments suffer an onset of vertigo when faced with the prospect of an absolute revolution in consumption patterns. What to do when markets and trends are changing so drastically that strategies expire before the expected result is achieved?

Maybe seeking help in “group” knowledge and observing the international strategies of the “big” corporations is now a more effective way to try to be creative and original. It’s a question of optimising resources. Large companies invest astronomical budgets into sophisticated market research to intuit new trends before they are consolidated, so it may not be a bad idea to follow their lead.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning the study by Bain & Company 2013

Luxury Goods Worldwide Market, which insists, for example, on data of transcendence such as that which asserts “the growth of the luxury market in America has surpassed that of China, for the first time in decades”.

“The hyper-growth of recent years was destined to ease off”, says Claudia D’Arpizio, shareholder in Bain & Company and author of the study. She adds “The upside for luxury brands is that they can now change their pvious strategy, which was very attached to maintaining the present frantic pace, to shift focus to planning for the future”. Main message. Slow down and reflect, because a strategy based on outdated truths leads, inexorably, to failure.

And of what use are these data for a medium-size company that wants to internationalise?

Let’s see. According to Claudia D’Arpizio, the future strategies of “big” companies are aimed at promoting “online” sales; they are immersed in this whilst calmly “rethinking” their future on the new international scene.

Many changes, too much information and high risk place marketing experts on the edge of a precipice, leading them often to blindly “try” or to do nothing at all out of fear. This is without the pressure from the company and sales department, which have the responsibility and obsession to sell at all costs.

Why is the quality department considered important within a company?

Because it is an internal source that provides guarantees and motivation for fulfilment of the vision and needs of the client of a company or institution, which is essential to ensure profitability. A company that was founded with the aim of obtaining returns on investments, according to the chosen positioning for their products or services, must be able to ensure this and we could say that the Quality Department is watching over the process from many different viewing points, to make sure that this perception or customer experience is consistent with the expectations of the product or service and it encourages them to recommend us or come back.

What is day-to-day life like for a quality department such as Peugeot?

Above all, analytical, creative and an internal driving force towards quality.

Why did you select PortAventura Business & Events for viewing of quality processes?

Besides the fact that Peugeot is a privileged partner of PortAventura, it was a perfect opportunity to get to know other products and services different to our own.

Do you believe it is positive to exchange experiences and developments in quality departments of different companies?

Of course, getting away from the daily routine and exploring other experiences makes your mind consider other ways of working and motivates the teams behind quality control.

What was your role during the event?

As Quality Manager for Peugeot, to reach the targets set for the day and respond to participants’ concerns.

After the experience, and from the viewpoint of the quality department, which aspects attracted your attention most during your visit?

Excellent organisation, content and manner of presentation from everyone representing PortAventura Business & Events and its facilities.

How much importance do you give to “team building” activities? Do you think that the Park and Convention Centre facilities cater to them?

The convention centre facilities allow the integration of teams and fluency in communication between them. To be able to experience this duality of both work and play is the perfect option.

What is the most exciting memory of the two days spent on site at PortAventura?

When our participants could see for themselves what we do with our brand PEUGEOT in terms of CRM and Quality, which is equally important and similar to other brands such as PortAventura.

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On 17th October the Event Innovation Summit was held at Hotel Barceló Sants, a meeting in Spain dedicated to innovation in events.

A concentrate of new formats for networking and training sessions on the latest industry development. An event condensed into a single day and only open to event planners, company end users, associations, administrations and agencies.

Over 30 innovative suppliers took part in the Event Innovation Summit, including PortAventura Business & Events, for its innovative event organisation format.

Throughout the Summit were alternated short, interactive training sessions on pioneering topics within the world of events: sensorial communication, gamification and psychology, to name a few. There was also the opportunity to put into practice new networking and participatory formats (for example, speed networking, world café, open spaced, team building, etc.).

Innovation was the main theme, with talks on solutions to engage guests, making an event last beyond 48 hours (but for months both before and after), integrating technology to be more productive and improve the experience and using games as a training tool. In short, to make events better and, above all, more useful.

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