Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1997
November 3: THE CONCORDE REVISITED
The Concorde remains a magnificent machine threatened by obsolescence. Fortunately, there’s good news, too. Technology keeps propelling the inevitable further and further into the next millennium, which is the most any of us can hope for.
October 20: A CENTURY AT CLARIDGE’S
On the road from Heathrow to London recently, our driver ventured the opinion that Claridge’s, our intended hotel, was the city’s best. This venerable property on Brook Street in Mayfair will be 100 years old next year, a reality that’s hard to grasp when you visit the gracious and spacious public rooms, dine in the handsome restaurants and settle into a distinctively designed room or suite.
September 8: FORTY YEARS OF FUROR
The current airline-ticket distribution system will prevail, although the travel agency community will have to adapt and adjust to new truths and new technologies. So what? It’s always had to do with that. The consumer will continue to seek the counsel of the travel agent, more so on the leisure side than business, but what else is new?
August 4: A SPEAKER WITH IMPACT
In Montreal last April, Peter Yesawich, president and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown, the closing speaker at an industry conference, drew an unprecedented response. Although he was running over into the lunch hour, not one of the nearly 500 travel agents on hand had stirred from their seats. And when I stepped up to close the question-and-answer session, I was greeted by catcalls and groans. The audience wanted this keynoter to continue.
July 14: A STATENDAM SOJOURN
A century or so ago, thousands of hardy travelers made their way north to southeast Alaska, gateway to the Klondike and its fabled gold strike. Today, there’s a far greater flow of traffic to that corner of the 49th state, but most of those travelers are passengers on cruise ships. One of the preeminent players in this powerful cruise (and shore excursion) market is Seattle-based Holland America Line-Westours (HAL), which currently operates six ships from Vancouver along the Inland Passage for seven-day itineraries.
June 16: FLYING INTO THE GREEN
There was a week back in October, 1993, when Aer Lingus lacked the funds to pay its employees. Last year it posted a record profit of $65 million. What happened in such a short span to bring Aer Lingus to “its best year ever” and add a further tinge of optimism to the near-term outlook?
May 26: A MATTER OF PERCEPTION
While I lack the relevant data to support this thesis, I have a strong suspicion that the instinct to gamble is as old as mankind. People have bet the ranch--and everything else--ever since the first ranch. I’m not including everybody all the time, but the desire to take a chance, to roll the dice, is deeply embedded in our collective psyche.
April 28: STACHNIK PRACTICES WHAT HE PREACHES
“It’s been a painful time in the lives of retail travel agents,” John Stachnik of Mayflower Tours told travel agents recently. “It seems that potshots are coming at you from all directions. First you dodge the commission caps bullet, then there was the unbundling of services by some suppliers, then a hit on passive bookings by others, along with a host of other roadblocks thrown in your way.”
March 31: SANDALS GOES BEACHES
Sixteen years and nearly a dozen couples-only resorts later, Gordon “Butch” Stewart has expanded his Caribbean vision into the family market, with the early February openings of Beaches Negril and the imminent conversion in April of his European Plan Turks and Caicos property into a come-one, come-all Beaches.
March 14: A SOUTHERNER IN CANADA
R. Lamar Durrett, president and CEO of Air Canada, has walked closely, though not exactly, in the footsteps of his friend, Hollis Harris (also a Southerner), whom he succeeded at Air Canada. There is no doubt that Air Canada has turned the corner, with more and more black ink flowing into the last three annual reports. In fact, Durrett refers to “open skies” as the “best thing that’s happened to us in the last five years.”
February 24: MUSINGS ON THE YEAR 2000
As this troubled planet spins mindlessly to its inevitable rendezvous with the next millennium, I put together some stray thoughts to ponder for eternity. (I use the word “rendezvous” advisedly, given its recent notoriety.) There’s nothing magic about the year 2000, but we can always hope that the next century will be a better one.
January 20: BETTING ON BILOXI
“From out of nowhere” is a phrase that takes on new meaning when you consider what’s happened on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in just four short years. Casinos and the gaming revenues they generate were virtually nonexistent in the region in the early 1990s. Instead, there were just a few sleepy, Deep South communities on the Gulf of Mexico in what once was considered this country’s most economically deprived state. Now places like Biloxi are financial stars.
Copyright © 1992-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.