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Hong Kong Disneyland Narrows Loss as Visitors Increase

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong Disneyland’s loss narrowed last year as visitors from mainland China spent more on admission and hotel rooms at the venture between Walt Disney Co. and the city’s government.

Net loss shrank to HK$237 million ($31 million) in the 12 months ended Oct. 1, compared with HK$718 million a year earlier, the resort said in a statement distributed in Hong Kong today.

The theme park added attractions including Toy Story Land to woo visitors from government-owned Ocean Park and to benefit from an increase in tourists from mainland China. Hong Kong Disneyland, which hasn’t made a profit since operations began in September 2005, may face a challenge in boosting visitor numbers this year as economic growth may slow in China.

“We are confident that the number of visitors can keep up with last year’s,” Andrew Kam, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland, said at a press conference. The park plans to expand and currently has no proposal to raise ticket prices, he said.

Hong Kong Disneyland’s revenue rose 20 percent to HK$3.63 billion, according to the statement. Hotel occupancy grew 9 percentage points, it said.

Mainland China Arrivals

The number of visitors from mainland China, which doesn’t include Hong Kong, accounted for 45 percent of the total.

Hong Kong Disneyland said park attendance surged 13 percent to 5.9 million. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park had almost 7 million visitors last year, 65 percent of whom were tourists, according to an e-mailed statement today.

“The pie is getting bigger,” Kam said at the press conference. “I am glad that Hong Kong has two theme parks, which carry two distinctively different themes.”

Hong Kong Disneyland plans to add 300 full-time and another 300 part-time employees this year, he added.

Total visitor arrivals to the former British colony rose 16 percent to 41.92 million in 2011, with the number of tourists from the mainland climbing 24 percent to 28.10 million, according to provisional figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Two out of every three visitors to the city were from mainland China.

China’s economic growth may slow to 8.5 percent this year from an estimated 9.2 percent in 2011, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net

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