Excited visitors are taking selfies with Mickey and Minnie in Hong Kong's Disneyland theme park, June 18, 2020. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort recorded its worst-ever annual performance in fiscal year 2020 with a net loss of HK$2.7 billion (US$347.6 million), marking the resort’s sixth consecutive year in the red.
The steep losses were due to social distancing measures and the halt of inbound tourism caused by the pandemic, the company said on Monday.
The loss for the financial year ending Sept 30, 2020 was far worse than that of the previous fiscal year at HK$105 million, recording the worst-ever reading since the theme park’s launch in 2005. The resort made a profit in just three years of its nearly 16-year existence. It recorded a 76 percent slump in its revenue to HK$1.4 billion while the loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization stood at HK$1.5 billion, up 30 percent from the previous year.
The loss for the financial year ending Sept 30, 2020 was far worse than that of the previous fiscal year at HK$105 million, recording the worst-ever reading since the theme park’s launch in 2005
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The embattled attraction saw its admissions nose-dive 73 percent to 1.7 million visitors, less than a third of that from the previous year amid a series of closures in line with government-mandated social distancing measures and the absence of tourists.
The resort was closed for 60 percent of the fiscal year, the resort said on Monday. It first closed on Jan 26, 2020, reopened on June 18, and then closed again on July 15 amid the third wave of local infections before it reopened on Sept 25. During the fourth wave, which lasted for nearly three months, the resort was closed from Dec 2 till Feb 19, and has since remained open, but with capacity limited to 50 percent.
Local consumption was “far from enough” to compensate for the significant drop in inbound visitors, said Michael Moriarty, the resort’s managing director. “It’s hard to imagine a more unprecedented time where the world has been on lockdown as a result of the pandemic with arrivals into Hong Kong down 82 percent and our park being shut down,” Moriarty added.
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The effective lockdown due to travel restrictions has virtually halted inbound tourism, with Hong Kong’s visitor arrivals plummeting 93 percent to only 3.56 million in 2020. Arrivals from the Chinese mainland, which contributed 30 to 35 percent of total park visitors over the past five years, dropped 94 percent to 2.7 million in 2020, figures from the Census and Statistics Department show.
“The park’s future performance would be heavily dependent on whether it can stay open, and when border restrictions can be lifted,” Moriarty said.
The park is pinning hope on local spending by launching new attractions, and providing discounts and staycation deals. To woo local visitors, it opened Castle of Magical Dreams in November as part of its HK$10.9 billion expansion plan, which will run into 2023.