Disney whets business appetite

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 12:00am

The Disneyland park will create a host of appetising business opportunities, a Walt Disney official claimed yesterday.

Steve Tight, vice-president of Walt Disney Attractions' operations development, cited the economic benefits brought by Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, as he talked up the prospects for the Hong Kong park.

He said that just before the Orlando park's opening, it had created 160,000 jobs with the number rising to 816,000 today and one-fifth related to the tourism industry.

'In Orange County alone, where Orlando is located, every 1,000 new visitors create 19 jobs,' Mr Tight told the General Chamber of Commerce.

The Hong Kong park is expected to create 18,000 direct and indirect jobs at its opening in 2005 and the number will be doubled by the 20th year.

The park is expected to attract 1.5 million additional tourists when it opens.

Mr Tight also tried to demonstrate how lucrative the opportunities would be for Hong Kong businesses.

'Each year at Disneyworld, guests consume almost seven million hamburgers, five million hotdogs, 4,000 tonnes of French fries, more than 125 tonnes of popcorn, more than 46 million Coca-Cola drinks and 30 million packets of ketchup.

'Of course, the food products will certainly be different to cater for local tastes, but the volumes are clearly remarkable,' Mr Tight said.

He assured green groups the company was environmentally sensitive.

Mr Tight said fears of attempts to import labour were misplaced. The first priority was to employ Hong Kong people.