Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) today reported its results for fiscal 2016. The resort has received more than 64 million guests since its opening in 2005, including 6.1 million during the fiscal year due to its continued investment in the guest experience. HKDL also achieved record high per capita spending at the park, marking seven consecutive years of growth.
Attendance from international guests increased to its second-highest annual level ever and the resort is proud to have offered dedicated services tailored to the needs of these diverse markets. Locals accounted for 39% of total attendance, while mainland and international visitation made up 36% and 25%, respectively. Hotel occupancy was similar to last year at close to 80%.
“HKDL continued to drive visitation with exciting new offerings and seasonal events during the year amid a soft tourism and leisure market,” said Samuel Lau, executive vice president and managing director of HKDL. “We are excited that Iron Man Experience, the first Marvel-themed ride at a Disney park, debuted last month and that a new resort hotel and other exciting offerings will open later in fiscal 2017 to further broaden the resort’s appeal. The resort is committed to bringing more magical experience to the people of Hong Kong, and strengthening our offerings to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a premier tourist destination.”
During fiscal 2016, the resort was impacted by a slower Hong Kong tourism market and an unfavorable comparison against fiscal 2015, which benefited from an additional week of operations. Consequently, the resort generated revenues of HK$4.8 billion with a net loss of HK$171 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was HK$715 million.
Despite these challenging market conditions, the resort’s performance began to show signs of recovery in the second half of fiscal 2016. Compared to the first half of the year, the year-over-year attendance decline eased and hotel occupancy improved in the second half of the year. This encouraging performance benefited from the launch of “Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover” and marketing and sales initiatives.
In fiscal 2016, HKDL launched the year-long “Happily Ever After” celebration for its 10th Anniversary, which included the debut of the “Mickey and the Wondrous Book” stage show, the “Fairy Tale Forest” walkthrough attraction and the enhanced “Disney in the Stars” fireworks spectacular. Riding on the success of the hit movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the resort also launched “Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover” with “Hyperspace Mountain,” “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple” and character greetings in Tomorrowland, which have been popular with guests of all ages.
Other popular new experiences introduced included character greetings with beloved Disney friends from the blockbuster movie “Zootopia,” a dedicated merchandise shop based on Duffy, ShellieMay and Gelatoni as well as a new PANDORA jewelry shop.
Capitalising on the array of new offerings and the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s “Matching Fund for Overseas Tourism Promotion by Tourist Attractions” initiative, HKDL rolled out 22 joint promotions with trade partners and other local attractions in various targeted overseas markets, such as Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.
The resort’s improved performance continued into fiscal 2017, with first quarter financial results above the prior-year period. The resort continued to add new offerings to attract guests and opened Iron Man Experience – Presented by AIA during the second quarter. This attraction helped boost Chinese New Year Holiday attendance 13% above the prior-year period, with growth in local, Guangdong and international guests, and occupancy to a near-full level of 97%.
To drive future visitation, the 750-room Disney Explorers Lodge will open on April 30. Dedicated to the spirit of exploration, the hotel will offer immersive, resort-style accommodations for guests with four themed gardens based on global cultures.
Additional experiences that leverage some of the most successful franchises of The Walt Disney Company would be introduced under a HK$10.9 billion multi-year expansion plan, subject to the Legislative Council’s approval. The proposed expansion is comprised of two new themed areas featuring Marvel and “Frozen,” a transformed Castle and Hub area with two entirely new day and night shows, and new experiences in Adventureland.
Continuous contributions to the community
For fiscal 2016, HKDL brought approximately HK$8.7 billion of value added to Hong Kong, equivalent to around 0.37% of the city’s overall GDP. Also, 19,100 jobs (in terms of man-years) were created during the fiscal year, benefiting Hong Kong’s overall economy.
On average, HKDL employed more than 5,000 full-time and 2,300 part-time staff during the year, making the resort one of Hong Kong’s largest employers. HKDL is committed to developing a highly skilled and quality labor force, providing them more than 300,000 hours of professional and technical training during the fiscal year.
HKDL also supported the Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education at the Open University of Hong Kong in launching a two-year full time Higher Diploma in Resort and Theme Park Management, a first-of-its-kind university program for nurturing talent in Hong Kong with a focus on the theme park industry. The program provides each student 400 hours of paid
training as interns at the park. The resort also officially rolled out a new hotel housekeeping training program for people with disabilities.
The resort is committed to Hong Kong and the communities it serves. HKDL welcomed more than 100,000 underprivileged community members to visit the park and contributed over 8,000 hours of skills and services through its Disney VoluntEARS program. HKDL further encouraged volunteerism through a partnership with the Agency for Volunteers Services, which has resulted in more than eight million hours of service since the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program began in 2010.
Other community highlights from fiscal 2016 include the inaugural HKDL 10K Weekend Presented by AIA Vitality to promote healthy outdoor activities with enrollment of around 9,000 runners and “YOUth Power,” a new program in Sham Shui Po promoting sports and creativity among disadvantaged children in the community.
HKDL received a total of 79 awards during the fiscal year in recognition of its design, technical achievements, guest service, family appeal and commitment to the community and environment such as the Asia Best Employer Brand Award for the fourth consecutive year and the “Reader’s Choice Awards 2015 – Best Theme Park (Asia Pacific)” from Travel Weekly Asia.