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No crisis for French Disneyland

Latest update : 2008-10-21

France's Euro Disney announced a record number of visits this year, with 15.3 million people coming to theme park despite the international crisis. In September, its sales rose 9 per cent to reach 1.33 billion euros.

Euro Disney said on Tuesday it had a record number of visits to its French parks this year and a 9.0-percent jump in sales, reflecting its appeal to cash-strapped Europeans as an affordable attraction in a financial crisis.

Euro Disney, which manages Disneyland Paris, reported a jump of 800,000 visitors in its fiscal year that ended in September to a record 15.3 million.

The company said its theme parks east of Paris had slashed an annual net loss to 2.8 million euros (3.7 billion dollars) from 38.4 million in the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Sales rose 9.0 percent to 1.33 billion euros.

"In a time of crisis," said company chief executive Philippe Gas, Disneyland Paris is "a good alternative to long-distance trips."

"It's a short-term destination easily accessible for Europeans ...

"Euro Disney has put up strong resistance to the economic gloom. But we remain vigilant, since everything depends on the scope of the crisis and we are not immune."

Occupancy rates at hotels connected to the parks, located in Marne-la-Vallee, rose to 90.9 percent from 89.3 percent in the previous fiscal period. Average spending per room rose 7.0 percent to 211.4 euros.

Gas said in the coming quarter, October to December, activity should remain "stable or show a slight increase," despite signs that the British and Spanish markets had weakened over the summer.

He added that the Disneyland Paris was becoming of increased interest to visitors from Russia and the Middle East, areas that "are less affected by a decline in purchasing power."

Another promising market is Poland, Gas said.

Euro Disney shares have fallen 34 percent this year, in line with declines elsewhere in the tourism sector.

The share was showing a loss on Tuesday of 2.03 percent at 5.78 euros on a generally stronger Paris exchange.

Date created : 2008-10-21

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