Paramount says to open first theme park in Europe in Spain

Paramount Pictures said Friday it has reached a deal to open its first theme park in Europe in Spain, the world's third most visited country, which will create thousands of jobs.

In a statement, Paramount Licensing said it "will not be an investor in the project but will licence intellectual property from its vast library of films and provide conceptual master planning and design for the project."

The park will be located in the southeastern region of Murcia on the Mediterranean coast at a yet-to-be disclosed date, it added.

"More details about the project will be announced in the next few months," the statement said.

Paramount Pictures is a unit of US-based media conglomerate Viacom Inc.

Rival US media conglomerate Time Warner runs a theme park, Warner Bros Park, in the town of San Martin de la Vega located just south of Madrid which opened in 2002.

Spanish media reported that Paramount's planned theme park will create some 20,000 jobs and will attract nearly three million tourists each year.

Spain's unemployment rate hit 20.09 percent in the second quarter, the highest level in the 16-nation eurozone and its highest reading since 1997 as the collapse of a property bubble continued to take its toll.

Spain received 52.2 million visitors last year, making it the thrid most visited country in the world after France in the United States, according to data from the Madrid-based United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

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