At Hong Kong Disneyland, the fairy tale just got a reality check.
The theme park posted a net loss of $19 million in fiscal 2015 (which ended in September), according to a new report this week by the Hong Kong government, a part owner of the resort. A decreasing number of mainland Chinese visitors as well as “overall market condition and sentiment” were to blame, the report said.
More difficult days may be on the horizon. The Shanghai Disney Resort is scheduled to open in June, sparking concerns that mainland Chinese, who make up more than 40% of the visitors at Hong Kong Disneyland, will opt for a closer-to-home experience.
Disney executives have stood by their decision to open two parks.
Despite Disney’s optimism, the numbers in this week’s report offer a sobering picture:
- Visits are down: Hong Kong Disneyland received 6.8 million visitors in 2015, 9% fewer than in 2014.
- Mainlanders are staying away: In the fiscal year of 2015, mainland visitors accounted for 41% of total attendance, down from 48% in the previous fiscal year.
- Revenue is dropping: Hong Kong Disneyland’s total revenue in fiscal 2015 was $655 million, a year-on-year decrease of 6%.
- Profit is off: Fiscal 2015 also recorded a net loss of $19 million, as compared to a profit of $43 million in fiscal 2014.
- Hotel rooms are emptier: Hotel occupancy dropped from 93% in fiscal 2014 to 79% last year.
“In view of the intensifying competition in the region, and the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort in June this year, the Hong Kong Disneyland has planned a series of developments in the pipeline in order to give full play to its international features, and maintain its distinctiveness and competitiveness,” the report said.
Iron Man, apparently, has a new rescue mission ahead.
Xu and Liu are special correspondents.