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Speech by FS at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Third Hotel Ground Breaking Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Third Hotel Ground Breaking Ceremony today (January 5):

Bill (Ernest), ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon.

     It is indeed my great pleasure to join you all today. Indeed, it is always a great pleasure for me to be here in Disneyland. After all, Disneyland is all about pleasure, and you lucky guys are in the happiness business.

     My job, unfortunately, isn't always quite so uplifting, but there are moments of elation, and today presents one of these moments. Which is why I'm so pleased to be here for the ground-breaking ceremony of Hong Kong Disneyland's third hotel - the Disney Explorers Lodge.

     Tourism is a cornerstone of Hong Kong's economy, one of our pillar industries, and accommodation is central to expanding our tourism base, to building our visitor numbers. To that end, we are pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to expand hotel supply. It includes the sale of land for hotel use only, as well as the revitalisation of industrial and historic buildings.

     A number of hotel projects are in the pipeline, and we expect Hong Kong's hotel supply to reach 84,000 rooms within two years.

     Accommodation has always been a critical part of Disney's guest experience. As Bill has just noted, the new hotel will add 750 rooms to the 1,000 rooms now available in the two existing hotels located in the park.

     With a theme dedicated to the spirit of exploration, along with its holiday resort status and theme park location, I am sure the new hotel will be a welcome attraction in its own right.

     Over the years, Hong Kong Disneyland has become an integral part of Hong Kong's tourism offerings, a world-class attraction that makes the people of Hong Kong proud. That brings them happiness - not to mention tourist dollars.

     Finding happiness in the bottom line is part of my business. And I must say it is heartening to read Hong Kong Disney's year-end results these days.

     Much of that, of course, reflects the park's continuing expansion, and as Bill has just noted, that includes Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point, along with the recent addition of "Disney Paint the Night" and the special entertainment offerings keyed to major holiday periods. These, and other attractions, have considerably widened Disney's appeal.

     Today, the theme park attracts an ever-broadening spectrum of visitors - from households with small children, to thrill-seeking young adults and men and women of all ages.

     I'm also pleased to note the healthy mix of visitors - from Hong Kong, from the Mainland and from overseas. Indeed, the evolution of Hong Kong Disneyland is entirely consistent with our tourism strategy of building Hong Kong as a premier tourist destination with strong international appeal.

     The Government treasures our partnership with the Walt Disney Company. And, like any Disney fan, I am thrilled to know that there's much more to come - much more Disney magic to look forward to - beginning with this year's 10th anniversary celebrations, followed by the launching, in late 2016, of the Iron Man theme area and, in 2017, the opening of the Disney Explorers Lodge.

     I don't know about you, but I just can't wait to begin this exploration.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, January 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:44


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