Disney offer criticised for failing to give tourists what they want

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am

Disneyland is offering free photographs, meals and souvenirs to lure more mainland and overseas visitors. It is also offering Hong Kong residents two visits for the price of one.

Tour operators, however, say the theme park has yet to catch up with what tourists really want.

From now until September 30, mainland or overseas guests buying tickets through a travel agent will get a souvenir, a 'buy one, get one free' main-course meal, or a free photo on Space Mountain or from 'The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' feature.

During the low season, from now until June, a special 'Double the Magic' offer also entitles Hong Kong residents who buy a one-day ticket to visit the park a second visit free of charge. The second visit should be the same ticket type as the original and must be made by the same person.

The offer is not applicable to 'special days', which include April 14 to 21, April 30 and May 1 to 6.

Senior vice-president of marketing Roy Tan Hardy said the special offers were based on tourists' needs. But Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association chairman Paul Leung Yiu-lam said the new arrangements were not very attractive to travel agents or visitors to Hong Kong.

'I don't think more people will go there just to get a free photo or a free meal,' Mr Leung said. 'Also, in most of the mainland cities, Ocean Park is still the icon of Hong Kong.

'Disneyland should work closely with travel agents on how to make the park a valuable part of the travelling experience in Hong Kong. People don't come to Hong Kong just because of Disneyland.

'Travel agents are not employees of Disneyland, and we have no responsibility to promote the park unless it can benefit the industry as a whole.'

Legislator Fred Li Wah-ming welcomed the new incentives, but said the park should give more special offers to the disadvantaged.

'It makes sense to me to let more local people enjoy the park during low season,' Mr Li said. 'I wish the park would consider offering free or cheap tickets to low-income families, disabled people and senior citizens as well, because Hong Kong people have all invested in the park.'