Sometimes it takes a bit longer till certain information is actually noticed – case in point an interview with Philippe Gas, CEO of Euro Disney S.A.S., that the French station TF1 published on October 21, 2008. While he touts the figures of the first quarter of the fiscal year 2009 (3% increase in expenditure in the resort) he also admits, that the resort already (back in October 2008) felt the negative impact of the economic climate on the Spanish market, where advance bookings were weaker than in the past. While not mentioning the impact of the exchange rate on the UK market, which traditionally was one of the key markets in particular for packages including hotel stays, Philippe Gas mentions that they are targeting now markets, which are less impacted by the crisis such as the middle east (e.g. Dubai) but also emerging markets such as Poland and Russia.
However, where the interview gets really interesting is when Philippe Gas is asked about future expansions and new attractions.
Philippe Gas states that the resort is “already thinking about the next expansion phase” but also stresses the importance of new entertainment offerings such as are the center piece of the promotion for 2009. When asked whether the resort would still be able to launch a major new attractions along the lines of “Space Mountain” in 2010 Philippe Gas replies:
“It takes a little time to build this type of attraction! At least three years … Forget 2010 but maybe in 2012, which will be the twentieth birthday of EuroDisney. There are already projects and even plans but it is too early to speak about it now”
As great as this sounds one should not forget that the interview was conducted in October 2008 – when the Disney Hotels were still running nearly constantly near capacity, while at least the Disney Hotels are clearly feeling the economic preasure in the meantime and central markets such as the UK and Spain are severly impacted by the economic climate in the meantime. So any projects that Philippe Gas may have referred to last October could be changed significantly in the meantime. In the end only time will tell – but hope for a new, major attraction sure is supported by the interview.
Photo: Euro Disney S.C.A.