MICE not Mickey drawn to Disneyland

HONG KONG, 22 May 2017: With the recent officially launch of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort’s third hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, last Tuesday, the resort believes new and existing facilities will help to attract more bookings from meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition sector (MICE).

Talking to a media group interview last week, the resort’s business solutions and events director, Karen Kwan, said “in terms of positioning, we have a conference centre in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel so the new hotel will supplement the existing accommodation to draw MICE visitors.”

“For MICE groups and corporate clients, our resort can support them to oragnise events such as team building as well as cocktail receptions…the four themes of the new hotel gardens –  Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa plus three restaurants including a private room will add value and offer more variety and choices for clients.”

The director added: “We have our recreation team to help design team building activities for corporate clients such as making a Disney dim sum menu and a spider web theme in the garden areas…we could provide the theme and activity to serve the corporate group demand.”

“The theme park experience will also add up the event and corporate group diversity…we will also include the park tickets in the package for them to enjoy…the Iron Man Experience, the first Marvel-themed ride at a Disney park, debuted in January this year, including Tomorrow Land in the park will also help to offer more choices and variety for the clients.”

Hong Kong Disneyland works closely with the Hong Kong Tourism Board to tap potential for meetings and incentives in up-coming business sectors such as direct selling and IT and technology. China and Singapore, Indonesia, and India have the biggest potential.

For the 2016 fiscal year, there were over 600 MICE events held in Hong Kong Disneyland and over 60% were organised through local clients, she said.

The resort’s travel trade sales director, James Tung, said working with travel trade partners including banking partners will help to boost the resort performance.

Commenting on the Thailand market, he said: “Thailand is a potential market for the resort…we have been doing a lot of activities such as joining the Thai International Travel Fair to engage local consumers, organising outdoor shows including working closely with Thai partners such as traditional travel trade, banking partners like Krungthai Card (KTC) and airlines partners such as Thai AirAsia and Cathay Pacific.”

“We also want to attract more Thai guests to visit the park and stay at the resort’s hotels…right now we are pushing hard to promote a two-night stay at the hotels and two-day park tickets to both Thais and international markets.”

He added: “HKDL will leverage The Walt Disney Company’s on ground promotional activities, e.g. movie launch events, to engage Thai guests and create more tie-in experience at the park so that they can actually meet the movie characters and experience related attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland after watching the movies.”

To build the resort’s competitiveness, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has approved an HKD10.9-billion expansion and development plan of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (2018 to 2023)

The director cited: “The resort’s two shareholders Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and The Walt Disney Company recently agreed on an expansion project… we are going to bring in new attractions each year and make some significant improvement to raise the park to the next level and attract more visitors to the park.”

At the close of fiscal year 2016, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government owned a 53% majority in the joint venture, with The Walt Disney Company owning the remaining 47%.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has received more than 64 million guests since its opened in 2005, including 6.1 million during the 2016 fiscal year.

Local visitors accounted for 39% of attendance, while mainland and international visitation made up 36% and 25%, respectively. Hotel occupancy was similar to 2015 at close to 80%.

During fiscal 2016, the resort was impacted by a slowdown in Hong Kong’s tourism market and an unfavourable comparison against fiscal 2015, which benefited from an additional week of operations. Consequently, the resort generated revenues of HKD4.8 billion with a net loss of HKD171 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was HKD715 million.