Hong Kong to Issue Disneyland Visas For Shenzhen Migrant Workers
July 31 – The Hong Kong and Guangdong governments have announced that they will be soon be issuing special visa permits to visit Hong Kong’s Disneyland to migrant workers based in Shenzhen.
The visas will allow migrant workers who have been in the city for at least twelve months to join tour groups to Hong Kong Disneyland. Currently, migrant workers in Shenzhen will have to return to their hometown to obtain permits.
Out of Shenzhen’s population of 16 million an estimated 12 million are migrant workers.
The government decision has raised some eyebrows because the rule only covers trips to Disneyland and does not include other tourist areas in the city. “This was aimed to help Disney’s poor performance,” Leung Wai-kin, assistant professor of hotel and tourism management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong told Bloomberg. “The agreement will help Disney to gain visitors, but it will be difficult to get as many people as Disney wants before things are improved.”
The Hong Kong government is a major shareholder of the city’s Disneyland at 57 percent stake and an investment of US$2.2 billion. Since its opening in 2005, it has not been able to meet its targets and only attracted about 4 million visitors in its second year, down from 5.2 million in the first year.
The full details of the special visa program are still not available although it is expected that tourists will be allowed to stay overnight and also go to other attractions in the city. The special visas are to be launched starting Mid-Autumn Festival.
Tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland are priced at HK$295 on weekdays and HK$350 on peak days
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