The BBC's Announcement
[ Disney Vacation Planner
BBC: Tuesday, November 2, 1999 Published at 03:51
US entertainment giant Walt Disney has confirmed
it will build a theme park in Hong Kong under a HK$22.5bn (US$2.9bn)
deal that could provide a boost to the territory's ailing tourist
The joint venture, in which the Hong Kong Government
will hold a 57% stake, is expected to be up and running in five
It will be Disney's third foreign theme park after
Paris and Tokyo.
Announcing the deal after several months of negotiations,
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Wah forecast that the project
would produce an estimated US$19.2bn boost to the economy over
40 years. He said: "It is a vote of confidence in our future.
It is an enormous boost for the Hong Kong tourist industry. "It's
a good deal for Hong Kong. It will produce substantial long-term
appeared in Government House, the mansion of the old British colonial
governors, surrounded by Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.
Mr Tung said Hong Kong would
put up US$2.88bn. For its part, Disney will initially invest US$320m,
according to a company vice-president, Steve Tight.
Alongside a theme park, the project also features
a 1,400-room Disney-themed resort hotel complex and a retail,
dining and entertainment centre at Penny's Bay on Lantau Island.
The park will be a mix of East and West, centred around
a traditional Magic Kingdom castle and featuring performances
in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.
However the formula will be similar to those used
in Disney theme parks elsewhere in the world.
Mr Tight said: "It turns out to be a very strong and
attractive investment both for Hong Kong and Disney, and we are
very excited about being able to take it forward.
"It provides us with a fantastic Disney anchor here
in Hong Kong."
Mr Tung predicted that the park would see an attendance
of more than five million in its first year of operation, rising
to 10 million after about 15 years.