HK Disneyland reports loss for the second year in a row

Hong Kong Disneyland posted a second straight year of losses to HK$171 million for the 2016 fiscal year, widening from a net loss of HK$148 million a year earlier, as attendance by mainland Chinese tourists dropped amid a softer tourism market.

The park last year posted its eighth annual loss in its 11 years of existence, with attendance in 2016 dropping more than 10% to 6.1 million visitors, down from of 6.8 million a year earlier.

Visitors from Mainland China, a key market for the resort, accounted for 36% of total attendance in 2016, down from 41% the year before.

"It's still a challenging environment," said Hong Kong Disneyland managing director Samuel Lau, citing unfavorable factors such as regional competition and a local currency that is pegged to the stronger U.S. dollar. "But we've seen a slow turnaround in our attendance since summer."

Commenting on Shanghai Disneyland, Lau said: "China is a big enough market to be able to accommodate both parks."

In a bid to revive the Hong Kong theme park, Walt Disney last November unveiled plans for a US$1.4 billion expansion project for its smallest park.

New attractions are set to open from 2018 to 2023, including Frozen and Marvel Comics-themed areas, a larger, remodeled castle and a new entertainment venue.

The Hong Kong government, which has a 53% stake in the park, will invest HK$5.8 billion into the project and Walt Disney will pay for the rest.