Hong Kong Disneyland Has Been Losing Money For 3 Years; How Can It Turn Things Around?

The theme park has been losing money for three consecutive years.

Hong Kong Disneyland recently released their 2017 numbers, and it's not exactly pretty. The theme park is deeper in the red, with Hong Kong Disneyland losses doubling to over HK$345 million (US$44.1 million) last year, South China Morning Post reports. In 2016, this deficit was at HK$171 million.

Behind the Hong Kong Disneyland losses

hong kong disneyland losses

The theme park attracted 6.2 million visitors last year (3% more than 2016), increasing its revenue to HK$5.1 billion. But because of major park expansion and asset depreciation, the revenue wasn't enough to make up for the higher operating costs.

Last year, the park opened new attractions like an Iron Man feature and Disney Explorers Lodge, a 750-room hotel. According to the park's executive vice president and managing director Samuel Lau, they will continue to bring in more attractions, characters, and products to attract visitors.

"Our job is to grow revenue, to grow more attendance," he said. "We have different new products and merchandise to attract the guests. That's the way we are going to balance the business."

Close rivals

In 2016, Disney opened a theme park in Shanghai, which might play a part in the Hong Kong Disneyland losses.

Hong Kong Disneyland also did worse than its neighbouring rival Ocean Park, which had a HK$234 million deficit in 2017, better than Disney's  HK$345 million and its performance in 2016.

What now?

hong kong disneyland losses

Source: Loren Javier/Flickr

In spite of the park's poor performance in the recent years, Disney has given 2.8-5% pay raises to its 5,000 full-time staff, on top of a bonus in December.

This marks the third straight year of losses for the park, which is mostly owned by the government. The government owns 53% of the park's shares, while Disney — which charges the government a management fee — owns 47%.

The city's commerce minister, Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah, said that the government may renegotiate management fees with Disneyland.

"The existing contract terms are the result of past discussions. If we look ahead at what would happen with a phase two development, it would be a fresh negotiation," says Yau.

Hong Kong Disneyland is now working on a HK$10.9 billion expansion plan for the next six years, bringing more Marvel attractions, as well as an attraction centred around the movie Frozen. The government will be paying for half of the expansion.

It is estimated that 60.6 million tourists will visit Hong Kong in 2018.


What do you think of the Hong Kong Disneyland losses? Let us know in the comments!

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