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Published on : Friday, July 15, 2016
Dr Ken Chu is group chairman and CEO of the Mission Hills Group and a national committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. This is what he has to say on the opening of a new Disney Park in Shanghai.
Finally there is a Disney theme park in Shanghai which was opened in June. Its cost is estimated to be US$5.5 billion. It is supposedly three times bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland and has many more attractions. It is expected to bring in 15 million visitors in the very first year, in comparison to 6.8 million tourists who enjoyed in Hong Kong Disneyland last year.
The opening of this resort in Shanghai has made the people of Hong Kong tourism industry a little distraught. They are worried because they think that now people won’t have to go to Hong Kong to have the Disney experience. Moreover, there are no upcoming tourism attractions in Hong Kong in the near future, whereas, talks are going on for opening of more tourist enticements in the mainland in the next ten years. In this year only, 20 more parks are supposed to open in the mainland.
Dr Ken Chu believes that Shanghai Disneyland doesn’t present a threat to the. They both have different markets and moreover, the joining fees for Shanghai Disneyland is on the higher side. The weather there is also too cold in winters for the tastes of a lot of tourists.
Dr Ken Chu also thinks that they need to keep up with the moving times. They should constantly try to find new options to continue the growth of the tourism sector.
One of the examples that he quotes is that of the Sentosa island of Singapore which was turned into a tourist destination in the 1970s and since then it gets in 20 million visitors a year. He feels that innovation is the key to success which will take Hong Kong to its former glory.
One park does not decide a city’s tourism success. There is much more to it.
Push and pull factors are to be considered while attracting travellers. In his opinion, if Hong Kong is to flourish a tourist destination, they need to keep all these factors in mind. They need to constantly try and give new experiences to the tourists so that they feel that it is worth their money. Adventure, wellness and cultural tourism will play a strong role in that.