Hong Kong Disneyland dismisses Shanghai threat

Hong Kong Disneyland, which has been losing money and struggling to attract visitors, said Thursday that its Shanghai counterpart was no threat as it prepares for the opening of a new attraction.

The Hong Kong park has been battling to increase its popularity since opening in 2005 and its future came under fresh scrutiny with the new $3.7 billion Shanghai Disneyland, which is expected to open in 2016.

"Hong Kong Disneyland will maintain its competitive edge in the region as we are launching Asia's only Toy Story Land," Andrew Kam, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland, told a media briefing.

"This will enable us to maintain our leadership role," he said when asked whether Shanghai Disneyland - which will be three times the size of the Hong Kong park - posed a threat to his plans to boost visitor numbers.

Toy Story Land, which is based on the popular animated film and scheduled for opening in November, is part of an HK$6.2 billion expansion plan that will see 30 new attractions over the next five years.

"The expansion project is our largest growth phase since our opening," Kam said.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which is majority owned by the Hong Kong government, has been desperate to ramp up the number and quality of its attractions as it tries to get in more punters.

Mainland China is a major source of visitors for the Hong Kong park, last year accounting for 2.2 million visitors, or 42 percent of the total.

Hong Kong Disneyland saw its net loss narrow to HK$718 million ($92 million) in its last fiscal year ended October 2, compared to HK$1.32 billion a year earlier, partly due to an increase of visitors.

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