Struggling Hong Kong Disneyland falls short of visitor target

Struggling Hong Kong Disneyland falls short of visitor target Hong Kong  - Hong Kong's troubled Disneyland theme park fell about 1.7 million visitors short of its third-year target despite gradually improving attendances, a news report said Thursday.

The park attracted about 4.5 million visitors from October 2007 to September 2008, against a pre-opening target of 6.22 million visitors in its third year, the South China Morning Post reported.

Visitor numbers were nevertheless up about 8 per cent on the previous year when it attracted 4.17 million visitors against a pre- opening target of 5.47 million.

The 3-billion-US-dollar theme park, largely funded by the Hong Kong government, has struggled to match expectations since its launch in September 2005.

Criticized for being overpriced and short on attractions, the world's smallest Disney theme park has gradually expanded and introduced cut-price tickets for locals to try and boost receipts.

It fell about 500,000 visitors short of its 5.7 million first-year target and then saw numbers plunge by more than one million in its second year of operations.

A government paper quoted by the Post said the park had seen "strong momentum and growth" in recent months with attendance up 15 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Locals now make up about 40 per cent of visitors at the theme park on Hong Kong's Lantau island, while about a third of visitors are from mainland China. (dpa)

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