Theme parks and more
Port Aventura is among the 20 most important amusement parks in Europe, alongside such celebrated names as the Tivoli Gardens of Copenhagen, Disneyland Paris or Futuroscope. It is the only Spanish park in this list, where most of these facilities are in France or Germany.
There are, however, more than 300 amusement parks in Europe that welcome 150 million visitors every year, creating 50,000 jobs and generating a financial impact of 10,000 million euros. They are a vital part of our holidays and free time, and contribute to our dedication to sporting and cultural activities and our appreciation of the environment.
It must be said, however, that the classic notion of the fairground or amusement park, to be precise, has changed. Besides all the big wheels and roller coasters, there are a number of diverse places such as fairgrounds, water parks, theme parks and amusements as well as museums, aquariums and zoos that offer activities for different age groups and interests.
These attractions, in a generic sense, and their suppliers have come together in the Euro Attractions Show, held in Fira de Barcelona in September as the largest in its history, organized by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) based in Virginia, United States, which has 5,000 associates spread around the world. It goes without saying that amusement parks are big business in North America and in China too.
Around 10,000 professionals have had first-hand experience of the innovations presented by over 500 companies related with the leisure industry for the construction of attractions on land and in the water; the design and definition of themes; theatrical props, the direction and production of shows; technology for the sale of entrance tickets; catering services and the development of hotels and tourism complexes, but also cruises and spas, among others.
The fair has been a meeting of past, present and future. It was inaugurated in the amusement park of Tibidabo, which is a charming addition to Barcelona. Since it first opened in 1901, its plane, ghost train and its robots have formed part of the lives of generations of Barcelona residents. There have been a number of events in Port Aventura, especially conferences on the main challenges ahead: security being one of the most important, but also the full use of digital technology, and sustainability.
Water leisure for all ages
Campsites have become increasingly significant as leisure centres as they gradually incorporate services to improve holidays and the experience of their clients. In this sense, the Piscina & Wellness Barcelona fair, which is organized by Fira, already hinted in its last edition in 2015 at the presentation of new directions and this will happen next November at the Piscina & Wellness Forum organized in Madrid in collaboration with Asofap (Asociación Espanyola de Fabricantes del sector de la Piscina).
These are made-to-measure solutions to restore and modernise swimming pools, to build new water attractions or to include services associated with wellness. Alternatives to extend the season, systems to improve the sustainability and water management, or to increase the safety of water attractions.
Pools and other water facilities are obviously an essential part of any tourism establishment, and campsites are no exception to this. Many campsites in this country have chosen to transform sporting facilities that are rarely used (tennis or basketball courts) into water attractions and to renovate their existing facilities to add leisure features that campers will appreciate more.
The range of people going to campsites is increasingly diverse, and more demanding in terms of quality, comfort and additional services.
Wellness may be an excellent way to reach new types of users who are looking for holiday experiences: relaxation, well-being, contact with nature and leisure activities…