The Travel Factory Blog

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Sometimes Up, Sometimes Down, Somebody's Happy, Somebody's Sad

Sometimes Up, Sometimes Down, Somebody's Happy, Somebody's Sad

Travel Weekly reported last week about the good fortune, or hard work, of the Walt Disney Co.’s Park and Resorts division. They reported a record first-quarter net income of nearly $1 billion. . .a nice 22% increase in operating income over a comparable period last year. Overall, Disney saw is net income increase 20% for fiscal first quarter and revenues rose 14% to $15.2 billion.

What caused the increase? They said it was driven largely by the overwhelming box-office success of the latest Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. So, the question is how are they going to keep it going? They have plans to do some more building at Disney World, for example, Avatar Land is in the works. Also Star Wars Lands in other domestic parks along with additions and other improvements at other properties around the world. .. even Star Wars Day at Sea on the cruise ship, Disney Fantasy. That’s the “UP”, “HAPPY” part of this report.

The “DOWN”, “SAD” part is the report from the Houston cruise ship terminal. Both Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruise Line have confirmed that they are planning to remove their ships from the Port of Houston’s $108 million cruise terminal after the current season. So, as early as April, the cruise terminal will be left with no cruise ships. It will not necessarily be so unusual for a while because both lines only operated during the November to April time frame.

The cruise terminal was built in 2008, but has never been profitable a single year of operation. Beside the cost to build, the terminal has lost at least $12 million in operating costs alone. Lots of factors go into that, not the least of which is reliable labor for only a part of a year, in addition to the impact of some weather conditions that forced delays and closures of the channel because of fog. That is really a sad thing. I’m sure the authorities will find a suitable use of the great facility and parking lot, but no doubt it will not be tourist attractive. On the other hand, Galveston won that war!!! With Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise line operating out of Galveston every week, all year long, they will certainly have the market on that corner.

Happy or sad, The Travel Factory is always ready to help with our friends travel needs. We have the experience, way over 100 years of combined travel agency experience in the four agents gainfully employed. From Disney to Europe to Mexico to Hawaii, to virtually around the world, if we haven’t been there, we’ve sent someone there, so call us with your travel need and we’ll be more than happy to serve. Reach us by phone at 325-698-1421, or toll-free 800-760-4040; by web site at www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com; face-to-face at 4150 Southwest Drive, Ste. 120, right here in the Key City, Abilene, Texas.

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