Travel agents and tour operators are “absolutely critical” in selling Disneyland Resort ­Paris, senior vice-president sales and distribution Norbert Stiekema has said.


Speaking during a mega fam trip to the resort attended by more than 2,000 European agents, including 300 from the UK, he revealed that 70% of tickets sold to the resort are through the travel industry.


He said: “The trade plays an absolutely critical role. We recognise and appreciate the role these professionals play in helping design holidays.


“Given that we are working with every professional tour operator, I don’t think this is going to change.”


He stressed that while fam trips do not mean an immediate rise in sales for the resort, they are essential in educating agents on its newest attractions, including The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Stitch Live! and Crush’s Coaster.


He added: “Just reading about it does not give the ­emotional weight. People who have experienced the product can sell it better. Agents will be able to sell Disney with more passion.”


During the mega fam, ­attended exclusively from the UK by Travel Weekly, it was revealed the resort is launching a range of signature events that are ticketed, allowing agents to sell Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Magical Christmas Dinner.


Speaking about the credit crunch, Stiekema said that during the first quarter of the year Disneyland Resort Paris had not been affected.


He admitted: “When we spend time talking to tour ­operators everybody is a bit worried, but so far none of us has seen a change in trends.”


He also revealed that there is a shortlist of new attractions being considered for the ­resort, although no decisions have been made. And with ­occupancy at its hotels at ­almost 90%, Disney is looking at the potential for new hotel capacity at the resort.