e didn't like last week. The arrival
of spring was, on the East Coast at least, noticed only by
astronomers. On the ground, we were wet and cold -- in more ways
The news from England about hoof-and-mouth disease was not
encouraging, and the news from the Federal Reserve was not
encouraging enough, so Wall Street let the bears loose again.
The pilots at Comair voted to strike. Possibly today. Maybe they
Then Northwest said it was going to play it safe the rest of the
year, cut some "unprofitable flying" and defer some advertising and
other expenditures, including some executive compensation. A few of
its DC-10s will take "early retirement."
P&O Princess let it be known that it, too, was going to play
it safe for a while and extend its option to build the third vessel
in its new class of 88,000-ton ships. A day later, Carnival
reported that its net income for the quarter was down 25% from a
year ago, though revenue was up 22%. That can't be good.
We picked up a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, only to read about
reduced demand in the hotel industry; yield growth could be the
weakest in a decade.
Then a charming, quirky tour operation called it quits, bringing
an end to the 7-year-old Wild Women Adventures, a smart California
outfit that ran tours with names like Erin go Braghless. Any travel
company audacious enough to use "Insanity With Dignity" as a slogan
deserved to prosper.
And from the publishing world came news that one of our worthy
competitors, Leisure Travel News, was shutting down. We all
secretly hope our competitors will go away, but not really, not
This is the season of growth and renewal?
We hope, to bend Shakespeare, that this "spring of our
discontent" will be made glorious summer by something -- soon.