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Disney confirms layoffs in HK on fall in tourists

By Shadow Li In Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2016-04-19 09:15

The Hong Kong Disneyland has laid off some of its employees following reports it has been losing money due to declining tourist arrivals.

Oriental Daily on Friday cited a tipoff from an employee of the theme park's food and beverage division, saying about 100 people had been laid off by the park, 20 of them from the division.

The report said that the mass layoffs involved management and support personnel from different divisions, including catering, hotels and attractions.

A spokesperson for the theme park told China Daily that the layoffs were a result of merging various job positions to make the park more efficient.

"We regularly make operational adjustments to ensure we deliver great guest and cast experiences in the most efficient way possible in order to pave the way for future development," she said.

But she refused to disclose how many people have consented to the dismissal by agreement, only stressing that it was less than 100 people as reported by the media.

It was reported that some of those being dismissed have served the park for more than 10 years and were informed on the morning of Friday. They were reportedly told to leave immediately after signing a confidentiality agreement that guaranteed 10 months' salary as a severance package.

The spokesperson confirmed that a few of those who were dismissed had worked for the park for more than 10 years, while a few of them were in high-ranking management.

Refusing to call it a massive layoff, she said that it was not a large number of people when viewed in the context of the roughly 5,000 employees the park hired.

In March, Disneyland's former managing director Andrew Kam stepped down after the park recorded a HK$148 million ($19 million) net loss in 2015. The loss was attributed to the drastic drop of 20 percent in the city's total mainland arrivals, who make up some 40 percent of the park's visitors. The impending opening of the new Disneyland in Shanghai might also have contributed to the drop in visitors.

Kam, who assumed the post in 2008 when the park recorded a deficit of up to HK$1 billion, had led the park in turning that deficit into gains in only two years. The park notched up a HK$242 million net profit in 2013.

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