If you are involved in the Spanish tourism industry you will surely by now have heard of the Barcelona World Project. It is a hugely ambitious project that was announced by the president of Catalunya Artur Mas at a recent press conference to open a huge tourist resort on almost 500 hectares of land next to the already popular Port Aventura.
The announcement was made after the decision for the Eurovegas project went to Madrid in September. The Eurovegas project is an emotive subject amongst politicians and industry professionals alike, with both sides of the story putting forward equally compelling case for the “For” and “Against” . The Barcelona World Project seems to have received much more widespread support from local businesses and residents. The project is being led by the Generalitat, La Caixa and Veremonte which is owned by Enrique Bañuelos reported by Forbes to be one the richest 100 people in the world.
The resort will offer 6 large building complexes, which replicate the geographical areas of Europe, USA, China, Brazil, Russia and the India. The entire space will be more than 1,5 million square meters and will have a total of 12,000 hotel rooms. The investment of the whole project will be around 5 billion euros and it is estimated that the project will generate around 20,000 direct jobs and will attract 10 million new visitors to the area a year.
It is expected that the hotels on the resort will have meeting rooms and conference centres, there will also be a convention centre. Will this affect the meetings and conferences market in Barcelona? Spanish and Travel Magazine recently conducted a poll of PCO´s, DMC´s, Convention centres and other industry specialists in Catalunya, the results show that 80% of those questioned were not worried about the new resort taking business away from the existing conference centres in Barcelona. Also encouragingly 50% of those surveyed were positive that the Barcelona World Project would generate more work for the industry in general.
There are undoubtedly some major hurdles to cross between now and the scheduled opening in 2016 for those who are interested in following this monumental project there is a tweet feed here twitter.