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Cirque du Soleil and PortAventura foresee lasting relationship

Internationally renowned performance troupe Cirque du Soleil premiered at PortAventura resort in Spain last week. The acclaimed show Kooza was staged in their famous big top tent, set up just beside the theme park, marking the first partnership between the Canadian company and a European theme park.

"We were looking for a place to go regularly in the summer and PortAventura was looking for the best quality entertainment it could get, so the marriage happens from there and this is like our first date," said Heather Reilly, Kooza company manager, who oversees the logistics of the US$35 million (£20m, €26m) tour and its 130 staff. The joint venture involves investment in the site from PortAventura and profit shares on ticket sales.

PortAventura – Europe's third-largest destination attraction – approached Cirque du Soleil as a way of diversifying its entertainment portfolio. It hopes the seven-week run of shows will become a regular feature in their summer calendar, attracting new customers, increasing return customers and encouraging park guests to stay longer.

"Our main priority is to develop our international markets," Fernando Aldecoa, PortAventura's general manager, told Attractions Management. "One of our strategies is to build up partnerships with top brands. Ferrari is one of those brands [with the park's Ferrari Land opening in 2016] and we wanted Cirque du Soleil to be another of these partnerships."

The first performance, which was attended by a host of Spanish celebrities and VIPs, continues through August 30. "This is the first time we have positioned ourselves so closely with a theme park outside our partnerships with Disney at Disneyland and previously in Tokyo. With the big top it's the first time, so it's our chance to see if it works," Reilly said.

Internationally renowned performance troupe Cirque du Soleil premiered at PortAventura resort in Spain last week. The acclaimed show Kooza was staged in their famous big top tent, set up just beside the theme park, marking the first partnership between the Canadian company and a European theme park. "We were looking for a place to go regularly in the summer and PortAventura was looking for the best quality entertainment it could
TAW
Contortionists are one of the many highlights of the jaw-dropping Kooza show by Cirque du Soleil / derekskey, Flickr
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