Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks
& Resorts, unveiled for investors a plan for growth.
investors at a Disney analyst conference in Orlando on Feb. 7, "We
have only scratched the surface of the worldwide travel market" and
that Disney anticipates "strong, continued growth over the next
decade and beyond."
He unveiled a
rough outline of a plan that would rely not only on Disney's
existing businesses but also on "new geographies and new
In the quarter
ended Dec. 31, Disney's operating income increased 45% on a 10%
increase in revenue. Any company would be challenged to exceed that
performance, but Rasulo said Disney believes it can.
Rasulo, theme parks, resorts, cruises, and timeshares constitute a
$120 billion market worldwide, or about 5% of the entire leisure
market. Even with $10 billion in revenue in 2006, Disney said it
has just a 10% market share in the businesses in which it
Disney is eyeing
new regions, particularly China.
"The number of
Chinese who can afford to travel is growing every day," Rasulo
said. "Last year, 31 million Chinese tourists took a trip outside
of the country. That number is projected to grow to 100 million
tourists by 2015, making China the second-largest tourism economy
in the world behind the U.S."
The company is
also looking at "broadening its footprint" with new products and
Disney attractions could be installed in "resort hotels, RD&E
[research, development and engineering] centers or water parks,"
While 29% of
Americans went to theme parks last year, 71% went to U.S. cities,
33% went golfing or to the beach and 25% went on an outdoor
vacation or to a national park, Rasulo said. But when people went
to those destinations, they stayed at resorts that "lacked our
theming, storytelling and detail."
Disney plans to
expand its Grand Collection of Hotels, including regional resort
properties outside of metropolitan areas, urban hotels, resorts in
exotic destinations and boutique hotels, to virtually any place
without such hotels.
Look for Disney
to build more retail, dining and entertainment complexes, Rasulo
said, and to expand its theme parks, not just to new geographic
areas but also to new kinds of parks.
"Not all parks
have to be the size of our current parks," he said. "What about a
smaller, deeply immersive park, for now I'll call it a niche park,
that could serve a much smaller daily audience in a more intimate
To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].