Asterix smacks Mickey Mouse

That super-strength potion must work: An Asterix theme park is raking in the dough while Euro Disney struggles, says this report.

Whereas Euro Disney has struggled financially since its launch in the early 1990s despite attracting some 13-million visitors a year from all over the globe, the smaller Asterix park, opened in 1989, has turned in a profit since 1999 and that with a mainly French clientele.

..."We have the advantage of not being too in debt, and also of dealing with completely different volumes," the director of Asterix park, Alain Trouve, told AFP. With its two million visitors a year, 85 percent of which are French, the park registered almost €67-million in turnover in 2004 and again turned in a profit.

Euro Disney on the other hand has already had to restructure its finances twice as it struggles to service a €2.4-billion debt.

Trouve links the Asterix park's success to the Asterix comic book characters who are anchored in French popular culture and a rigorous management of the park which only opens for 160 days a year.

"The idea was to bring the characters on the page alive as well as their spirit. To find the humour, convivality and the strength of the characters and to put that all in a park," he said.

More on Parc Asterix.

Asterix books.

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