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Ticket price increases at HK Disney

A file photo of the Disneyland in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Disneyland announced on Tuesday it will raise weekday admission prices for mainland and overseas tourists by about 19 percent.


But Hong Kong residents and tourists who purchase tickets through travel agents can still enjoy the old prices until June 30.


A one-day admission will cost HK$350 ($45) for adults and HK$250 for children aged up to 11, from Monday, the previous charges for weekends.


Adults were previously admitted for HK$295 and children HK$210.


A Hong Kong Disneyland spokesman said the park does not expect the new pricing structure to have an immediate impact on attendances, as research shows guests choose when to visit the attraction based on time available rather than ticket prices.


But the hikes drew immediate criticism from the industry.


The greater tourism industry fears it may harm mainlanders' willingness to visit Hong Kong.


Joseph Tung Yao-chung, executive director of Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said the decision was unwise in the current financial climate.


He also urged the company to rethink its decision, during an interview with Southern Metropolis Daily.


Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents chairman Michael Wu Sui-ieng said mainland and overseas tourists might find the new price policy discriminatory and dampen their desire to visit Disneyland, Hong Kong-based Wenweipo newspaper reported yesterday.


He predicted a 10 percent drop of mainland tourists to the Disneyland in the wake of the price hike.


Though expressing similar concerns, the mainland travel industry remains positive about the number of visitors to Disneyland in the near future.


Wang Jian, spokesman for Guangdong China Travel Service, told Wenweipo that Disneyland was the most popular destination for mainland tourists going to Hong Kong and the HK$55 price increase would not affect flows.


Wen Qian, marketing manager of the Guangzhou-based GZL Travel Service, even predicted a 20 percent increase on weekends and holidays despite the price hike.


"The unified ticket prices during weekdays and peak days will actually be more convenient for travelers to arrange their tours," she told China Daily.


Beijing resident Zhang Min said she would take her 9-year-old daughter to Hong Kong next week.


"I've promised my daughter a tour to Disneyland, no matter whether the ticket prices rise or not," she said.


Mainland, local and overseas tourists each account for about a third of the total visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland.


The cost of Hong Kong tour packages offered by major mainland travel agents remain unchanged so far.


Disney's admission increase is the first since it opened in 2005.


(China Daily February 5, 2009)