Speaking to Travel Daily on Friday, Larry Leung, the park's director of travel trade sales, revealed that Hong Kong Disneyland is placing a major focus on Southeast Asia, including five key markets.
"The closest Disney park to all the Southeast Asian countries is Hong Kong," said Leung. "Twenty percent [of our visitors] are international and Southeast Asia is a big part of this. The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; these we call our 'Fab Five'. These are very important markets to us."
And in terms of market penetration, Leung revealed that Disneyland now captures a huge share of the total number of overseas visitors coming to Hong Kong.
"We look at how many guests are coming into Hong Kong for overnight vacation purposes, and we see how many are coming to us. Take the Philippines for example; there we have 60% penetration. So out of 10 Filipino guests coming into Hong Kong overnight, six will come to our park. Taiwan is over 50%, Singapore over 45%, India 70%," Leung revealed. "We are a 'must-see' destination. On a check-list of things to see in Hong Kong, Disneyland is among them."
In an effort to target Southeast Asian guests, Hong Kong Disneyland appointed its first regional GSA in Thailand in 2007. And since 2011 it has added new sales agents in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.
This has coincided with the launch of special new products and services tailored especially to the needs of Southeast Asian visitors, as Leung explained:
"[We are trying to] bring more relevance to audiences in Southeast Asia," he said. "For example, most Southeast Asian guests tend to stay longer. While Chinese visitors might just take a day trip, or two days one night, usually [Southeast Asian guests] stay at least four days [in Hong Kong]. And in Indonesia people may take up to six days.
"So we have created a special two-day pass in order to facilitate that kind of flexible itinerary planning. So that on any two days out of seven, they can visit the park."
Other initiatives implemented to cater for Southeast Asian guests include special offers for people holding boarding passes for Tigerair, AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, the translation of park information into Thai and Bahasa, and the roll-out of Muslim-friendly offering such as halal restaurants, prayer rooms and even special 'hoods' that Muslim women can wear on some of the rides.
"All of this is creating more relevancy to guests and giving them a reason to come to our park," Leung said. "These are some of the things we have been doing, and will continue to do on a massive scale, with the ultimate goal of maintaining our presence in this important source market."
In terms of actively promoting the park overseas, Leung said Hong Kong Disneyland would continue to target travel trade events across the region.
"Whenever the HKTB promote overseas, we must be part of that because we're a big part of the overall Hong Kong experience. Whenever there is a new product launch… we always go out to the market and spread the news. Wherever there is a travel fair, we will be a major part of it. If the HKTB have a pavilion we will be part of it, and at some of the very important shows we will go in by ourselves. This will be part of our strategy," he added.
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