|The Government of Hong Kong has announced that it has entered into talks with American entertainment giant Walt Disney Company over financial options at its theme park in the former British colony after recent poor performances.|
Frederick Ma, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, stated that the Government had begun discussions on the park's expansion and was carefully examining its financial arrangements including a possible cash injection.
However, he expressed concerns over Hong Kong Disneyland’s unsatisfactory performance and stated that a cash injection was not a certainty as the Government was still assessing its financial prospects.
'The Government will carefully consider the merits and demerits of various financing options including the possibility of a government injection and the carrying out of preliminary feasibility assessments,' said Ma.
'The discussion is still at an initial stage and no agreement has yet been reached.'
Ma stated that the Government would make a decision after taking into account the economic benefits to the territory and the development of other large-scale tourist attractions in the region.
Hong Kong Disneyland only opened in late-2005 but a report released to the Legislative Council indicated that visitor numbers have decreased by 23 percent. The Government owns 57 percent of the attraction, which drew more than four million visitors in its second year. However, this figure was down from 5.2 million visitors in its first year and well off its target of 5.6 million visitors.
'The Government has expressed its concern and impressed upon the management to pay serious attention to the key issues and strengthen its cooperation with the local travel trade to improve the performance of the park,' said Ma.