Over the past few years we’ve heard a lot of talk of Disney opening up a theme park in the Manilva area on the Costa del Sol. In fact, many estate agents sold properties under the premise that Disney were coming and that it would mean that property prices would increase due to the resulting tourism in the area.
Must of us knew all along that this wasn’t really ever going to happen. Disney were not about to put their Paris theme park out of business, even though originally they had planned to build the “Euro Disney” in Spain; the actual location being what is today the Selwo adventure park. The lack of infrastructure in the area is allegedly what put Disney off and chose, perhaps mistakenly, Paris instead.
Now more recently we’ve heard a lot of talk about Paramount Studios opening up a theme park in the Murcia area of Spain. Although originally many people assumed this was another “Disney in Manilva” moment, the fact of the matter is that the Paramount theme park in Murcia IS going ahead, as has recently been confirmed by Paramount Pictures Spain.
For once some good, positive news!
Paramount Studios themselves will NOT be investing in the project. Instead the Murcia Regional Government along with what appears to be a group of investors under the name of Santa Monica Financial Services SA, will fund the project under licence from “Paramount Licensing”.
It is therefore more of a Paramount-branded theme park than a Paramount theme park in it’s own right.
However, this sort of set up appears to be quite a common way of setting up these types of facilities, hence the “Paramount Licensing” division of the company.
Murcia covers a large area and at the moment no details have been given for the exact location of the theme park, but expect it to be quite far from most residential areas!
Let’s not get too excited yet as this is still at a very early stage so going by the usual timescales for large projects we’re probably look at a minimum of 2 - 3 years before this gets completed, possibly longer.
There are already several theme parks in Spain, with two of the major ones being Portaventura in Salou in the North of Spain and Warner Bros World just outside of Madrid.
I have never been to Portaventura but I hear it is very good but we went to Warner Bros World in Madrid last year and weren’t overly impressed. It wasn’t particularly busy and everything looked a little tatty. The characters didn’t appear where they were set to appear at the published times and compared to Disney in Paris....well it really doesn’t compare.
Paramount, like Disney and Warner Bros, has the name and the famous characters associated with the brand to ensure it gets a lot of interest, so in a way it is guaranteed to do well, especially in the early days I'm sure.
Most of these large-style theme parks tend to have their own on-site hotels, albeit very expensive ones. When we went to Disneyland Paris last year we stayed in one of their hotels which was great. We saw the characters in the morning, we walked to and from the park and got to stay an extra hour after the park closed because we were staying in a resort hotel. All great benefits for staying in one of their hotels.
Both Disney in Paris and Warner Bros World in Madrid are quite far from anything else. Although you can get a train to either of them, and many people do as they only go for a day, it is much better when you have kids if you just stay in the resort itself.
What Does This Mean For Those Renting Out Properties in Murcia?
Apart from the huge number of jobs that the park will create, property owners in the area are certainly set to benefit too.
Murcia already enjoys a considerable amount of tourism and the Paramount theme park is sure to become a “must go to” destination for visitors to the area. In fact, whilst foreign tourists go to Murcia to soak up the sun, they’ll soon have the option to visit the park whilst they are there.
This is going to be a huge selling point for those marketing their properties for rental in the area. No longer is it just about sun, sea, sand and sangria, soon there will be the option of days out at a top theme park in Spain. For those of us with kids, it really is a great selling point.
In terms of property values in the area, I can’t see this is going to have much of an impact in the short term until people can demonstrate that the park is bringing in huge amounts of people looking to rent apartments instead of staying at the resort.
Maybe by the time the park is ready property prices may have at least started to creep up but I can’t see the park itself having that great of an effect. There are just still too many properties around.
The Spanish Market
An important point to understand is the Spanish culture towards travelling. Although it is changing, the Spanish are typically very patriotic and they love their country so much that most of them see little point in leaving it for a holiday. In fact, most of our Spanish friends rarely leave the area!
I truly believe that the Paramount theme park is really going to be more for the Spanish than the foreign tourists. Sometimes we underestimate how much the Spanish holiday within Spain, especially entire families going to the coasts from the big inland cities. They tend to have money and they spend it during the summer enjoying the beaches.
If you plan on attracting Paramount tourism for your apartment then you need to consider marketing it to Spaniards.
What You Should Do Now As A Property Owner In Murcia
So you own a property in Murcia that you rent out for holidays and you’re hoping in a few years time you’ll be able to capture some of the Paramount tourism. There are a few things you can start doing now to position yourself accordingly in the market. Remember that as this gathers momentum, competition will increase so you have to begin now.
Firstly, as I talk about in my Top 10 Strategies To Boost Your Rental Enquiries ebook, you should have your own website to market your own rental property.
Secondly, you need to begin adding information about the Paramount theme park to it. Create a “Paramount Theme Park Spain” section and add news and information as you get it. The idea is to get this information out there and for Google to find it. There are already many people searching for “Paramount Spain” and “Paramount Murcia”.
You need to be there because eventually people will start searching for “Holiday rentals paramount murcia” and if you want to be found on Google for this, then you need to begin now as it's only going to get tougher.
I’ll leave it with you to come up with some other ideas!
All in all, this is some great news for the Murcia area but for now we just need to wait and see what further details are released regarding location and timing.
When it opens up I will certainly be taking my kids there and I may just be looking for somewhere to rent at the same time!
What are your thoughts on the Paramount Theme Park? Please leave your comments below. I look forward to reading them.