CORPORATE EVENTS will mean much more than wishing upon a star as Hong Kong Disneyland Resort battles back from financial losses worsened by Covid restrictions and the civil unrest of 2019.
The theme park on Lantau island is counting on attractions such as a themed “town” based on the Frozen movie and is organising a “Corporate Experience Day” next month to introduce event organisers to park buyout options and conference facilities. The resort is also reported to be recruiting 1,000 people as visitor arrivals to the city increase.
Senior management have expressed confidence in the resort recovering despite the eighth year of losses which show the park HK$2.1 billion (about US$268 million) in the red with the backdrop of the tourism and events industries in Hong Kong dealt a severe blow by the pandemic.
Locally organised business events and the domestic leisure market eased Hongkong Disneyland Resort (HKDL)’s losses during 2022, when anti-Covid travel restrictions and quarantine measures were imposed on the city for most of the year.
The park did, however, see a 22 per cent increase in total attendance to 3.4 million in the 2022 financial year “fuelled by only Hong Kong residents” while revenue grew by 31 per cent – a 12 per cent improvement on the previous year.
Enquiries to hold business events at the park have soared by 40 per cent since all Covid restrictions were lifted in Hong Kong on March 1, a HKDL spokesman told MIX.
We continued to invest and launch new products and offerings, including MICE events. Many corporations chose to plan their team-building events in Hong Kong instead of overseas and, with our new offerings and top-notch market service, local clients such as insurance companies and accounting firms have chosen buyout events in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
During the downturn the park “remained innovative and agile” in improving its products for corporate event organisers while local clients once again used facilities when available.
“We have been hosting buy-out events [in varying] scales, from 500 guests in the theatre to 4,000 guests in a themed land,” the spokesman added.
“The largest buy-out event we recently hosted was for a large insurance company last year. They staged a tailormade show featuring a singer performing at the Castle of Magical Dream stage area as well as our latest night-time spectacular, Momentous.
“We continued to invest and launch new products and offerings, including MICE events. Many corporations chose to plan their team-building events in Hong Kong instead of overseas, and with our new offerings and top-notch market service, local clients such as insurance companies and accounting firms have chosen buyout events in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.”
The park’s conference and incentive products have proved popular with large companies seeking to engage staff or clients and requiring unique venues for meetings. Park buyouts for evening events proved to be a success prior to Covid social-distancing restrictions.
“In June, we will host a ‘Corporate Experience Day’ in the park to introduce our latest offerings to our partners. This event will highlight… the ‘Marvel Themed Park Buy-out event at Tomorrowland Stage.”
The park will also be hosting tours for overseas corporate agents this month who have been invited by Hong Kong Tourism Board. Several initiatives are also planned to “promote our MICE events and make Hongkong Disneyland top of mind”.
HKDL told MIX World of Frozen would be “the world’s first and biggest themed land [area] based on the Frozen movie when launched in November and would see more MICE-event opportunities”.
At the resort hotels, overall occupancy edged up three percentage points to 24 per cent, according to HKDL’s report on the results. This reflected, among other factors, the absence of tourist arrivals and the temporary closure of the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel for renovation. The hotel, one of three on the resort, is expected to reopen in the second half of the year.