Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) has announced some great news. In their 2017 fiscal year, the park welcomed 6.2 million guests. This number is up by 3% from last year. Along with those impressive numbers HKDL also reported an increase in international attendance of 5% to reach a record high of approximately 1.6 million international guests! Can you believe that since the park opened in 2005 more than 70 million guests have visited?
The increase in attendance from international guests demonstrated the resort’s continued strength in attracting tourists from across Asia, especially from Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. This affirms HKDL’s pivotal role in making Hong Kong a top family-friendly tourist destination in Asia.
Local attendance grew 6% to its second highest level ever, attributable to its line-up of exciting offerings and seasonal events throughout the year, as well as the successful Magic Access programs. In fiscal year 2017, locals made up 41% of total attendance while mainland and international guests accounted for 34% and 25%, respectively.
The overall positive trend in attendance growth continued into the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 with a double-digit increase in guests, as limited-time offerings of Halloween and Christmas events were popular among local, mainland and international guests.
HKDL achieved record high per capita spending at the park for the year, marking eight consecutive years of growth. Overall results were driven by the launch of new attractions and entertainment offerings, including the new Iron Man Experience, Disney Parks’ first Marvel-themed ride, and Disney Explorers Lodge, the resort’s third hotel, as well as strategic marketing and sales efforts.
“The launch of Iron Man Experience and Disney Explorers Lodge in fiscal year 2017 have taken the resort experience to a new level, strengthening our appeal as a resort destination for families and young adults,” said Samuel Lau, managing director of HKDL. “Together with the roll-out of our newest expansion plans, our investments in the guest experience are set to make the resort an even more attractive destination, drawing new and repeat visitors from across Asia.”
New attractions and seasonal offerings drive revenue growth
For the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2017, HKDL generated revenues of HK$5.1 billion, representing an 8% increase from the prior year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were HK$914 million, 28% above the prior year. Increased occupied room nights at the resort hotels, higher theme park attendance, increased guest spending at the park and cost management efforts contributed to the year-over-year growth.
At the resort hotels, occupied room nights increased by 16%, reflecting the increase in inventory created by Disney Explorers Lodge. Hotel occupancy was close to 70%.
Due to the rise in costs associated with the launch of Iron Man Experience and Disney Explorers Lodge in fiscal year 2017, as well as depreciation associated with the expansion project, HKDL had a net loss of HK$345 million for the fiscal year.
The year of Marvel in 2017 and a magical year ahead in 2018
Beginning with the opening of Iron Man Experience, 2017 was truly the year of Marvel at HKDL and an exciting year for fans. This past year marked the first-ever “Marvel Super Hero Summer” at the park and the first Marvel-themed race event, the “Marvel 10K Weekend – Presented by AIA Vitality,” which was held in September with a record enrollment of more than 10,000 runners from Hong Kong and across Asia. The momentum from Marvel will continue in fiscal year 2018 and in the years ahead with HKDL being built up as a Marvel hub in Asia for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as part of the multi-year transformation of the park that commenced in October 2017.
HKDL will continue to create new and magical experiences to give guests even more reasons to visit throughout the coming year.
Following Chinese New Year and its first-ever night market, magic is happening all around the park in different seasons throughout the year. In mid-March, guests will be dazzled by the brand-new colorful “We Love Mickey!” Main Street Projection Show, featuring cutting-edge visual effects and lighting at night. On March 30, guests can swing into more fun in Adventureland at the first-ever “Karibuni Marketplace” near the Theater in the Wild. Guests can enjoy the vibrant colors of textiles and crafts, challenging games, delicious food items and even meet adventurous Disney friends including Moana, Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Jasmine, Pocahontas and even Marvel’s Black Panther in the Adventureland area.
In May, a new entertainment venue in Adventureland will open featuring a lively atmosphere stage show titled “Moana: A Homecoming Celebration,” which will be the first completed project under the latest phase of expansion. This summer, the park will launch a brand new Disney‧Pixar-themed Water Play Street Party! along Main Street, U.S.A. where some of the beloved characters from the Disney‧Pixar films such as “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story” and more, will join more than 30 performers for this cool, water-filled summer celebration. Guests can also meet and greet the superheroes from the Academy Award-winning animated movie “The Incredibles,” before the sequel “Incredibles 2” hits Hong Kong cinemas in mid-July. The debut of these offerings will be closely followed by a visit from Jack Skellington in Halloween, and the unforgettable Disney Christmas event.
Positively impacting Hong Kong
In its 13th year of operations, the resort remains as committed as ever to Hong Kong and the communities it serves. In fiscal year 2017, HKDL brought approximately HK$8.3 billion of value added to Hong Kong, equivalent to around 0.33% of the city’s overall GDP. Also, 17,800 jobs (in terms of man-years) were created during the fiscal year, benefiting Hong Kong’s overall economy. A total of 600 new Cast Members were hired for the Disney Explorers Lodge alone.
On average, HKDL employed more than 5,000 full-time and 2,000 part-time Cast Members during the year, remaining one of the city’s largest employers in the tourism and family entertainment industry. HKDL provided them more than 400,000 hours of professional and technical training during the fiscal year.
Bringing Disney magic to the community
In celebration of the ongoing multi-year expansion, HKDL launched a territory wide, Hong Kong residents-only lucky draw of 50,000 tickets in November 2017, which was popular with close to one million local participants.
In fiscal year 2017, HKDL welcomed more than 100,000 underprivileged community members to visit the park by donating tickets through its Community Involvement Program. The resort also continued to promote inclusion and societal happiness through numerous programs, such as “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” as well as “#SaveFoodGoViral Boot Camp,” which created social media campaigns to promote food conservation. HKDL also collaborated on Hospital Play, which supports children’s play programs at Princess Margaret Hospital, and recognized secondary students who made remarkable contributions in volunteering through the “We Did It!” initiative.
Other highlights include the Disney VoluntEARS team’s contribution of 8,000 hours of skills and services in the year, hosting of the seventh annual Disney ImagiNations Competition, and continuing to offer the two-year full-time Higher Diploma Programme in Resort and Theme Park Management by partnering with the Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education of the Open University of Hong Kong.
Image Credit: Disney
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