Kevin Yeung, Hong Kong’s Tourism and Culture Minister, is imploring lawmakers to keep faith in Disneyland Hong Kong, recognising the park’s importance in community and youth development. His plea comes amid legislators’ calls to cease government funding for the theme park, which has been struggling financially.
Over the past eight years, Hong Kong Disneyland has struggled to achieve profitability, largely due to pandemic-related restrictions. From October 2021 to September 2022, the park was open for merely 190 days.
Addressing these concerns during a Legco panel meeting on May 22, Yeung shed light on the park’s improving financial situation. He noted that Disneyland’s net loss in 2022 narrowed to HK$2.1 billion, marking a 12% decrease from the previous year. Thanks to local residents’ support, the park saw a 22% turnout increase and a revenue spike of 31% to HK$2.2 billion in the 2021-22 financial year.
However, lawmakers like Andrew Lam question the sustainability of government subsidies for the park, considering its infrequent profitability since its opening in 2005 and dwindling financial reserves.
Yeung countered these doubts, stating that Disneyland has added HK$116.1 billion to Hong Kong’s economy since its inception. This sum equates to roughly 0.3% of the city’s GDP. Moreover, the park has been a crucial source of job opportunities, particularly for the youth.
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He reiterated that the government, as an investor and shareholder, would not demand Disneyland to hit certain financial targets yearly. Instead, he urged a broader perspective, focusing on the park’s contributions to the city’s economy, youth, and arts development.
Yeung also mentioned plans to work with Disneyland to increase its appeal to tourists, promoting it alongside other local tourism brands like Ocean Park.
Echoing Yeung’s optimism, Michael Moriarty, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, announced that mainland tourist numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels during the recent Labour Day “golden week” holiday. The park plans to extend its operating days from five-six days to six-seven days starting in June. In another positive development, Disneyland hired 300 people in February and aims to recruit over 1,000 cast members for its upcoming “World of Frozen” attraction, launching this November.
This news piece is based on information provided by Marketing Interactive.