Speech by CE at opening ceremony of Disney Explorers Lodge

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the opening ceremony of Disney Explorers Lodge today (May 16):

Thank you, Kate, and thank you, William. Consul General (Consul General of the United States to Hong Kong and Macau, Mr Kurt Tong), Bill (President and Managing Director, Asia, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr Bill Ernest), Sam (Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Mr Samuel Lau), Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, government colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,

     Good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to join you all for the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort's Disney Explorers Lodge.

     The word "explorers" usually brings to mind exotic travel - unfamiliar paths followed for discovery, adventure and excitement.

Well, in my case, the journey to Disneyland was just fine. And the destination - this exotic new Disney hotel - is all worth the travel.

     Like everything else at Disneyland, the Disney Explorers Lodge was dreamed up to amaze and to add pleasure, joy and discovery to our lives. And all brought to life in an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.

     Beginning with the hotel's design, which captures cultural elements of Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa.

You see it in the grand sweep; you see it, too, in the distinctive details - antique toys, craft, textiles, jewellery and artefacts. The gardens, each with their own theme with a Disney or Pixar character, are lush with greenery. And I am told that some 1 000 trees and nearly 400 plant species can be discovered. That would be, well, my kind of exploration.

     You will hear more about the magic behind, and within, this third Disneyland hotel in a moment.

Let me just say how confident I am that it will help reinforce Hong Kong's position as a premier tourist destination.

     The hotel, with 750 rooms, will definitely attract more overnight stays to Hong Kong. Indeed, this new lodge, together with Disneyland's two existing hotels, brings the resort's room total to 1 750.

     And when you step out from any of those rooms, you will find that Hong Kong Disneyland is continually evolving, and expanding, bringing wonder to Hong Kong and the world beyond.

     It was only a few months ago that I was here to help open the Iron Man Experience. And, with funding approval by the Legislative Council earlier this month, we are taking forward a multi-year expansion and development plan of the resort.

Hong Kong Disneyland will begin unveiling exciting new attractions starting next year: "Elsa and Anna", more Marvel superheroes, "Moana" and a more magnificent castle will be rolled out one after another.

     The expansion project, together with the completion of major cross-boundary infrastructure in the next few years, will bring in more visitors from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, the whole of the Mainland of China and the world beyond. These projects include one of the longest bridges in the world, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge that will provide a road link between Lantau Island - where we are - and the west bank of the prosperous Pearl River Delta area. Incidentally, this bridge should be open to traffic before the end of next year.

     All these will present enormous opportunities for Hong Kong Disneyland, for our tourism sector, and for Hong Kong as a whole.

     So, ladies and gentlemen, there is much to look forward to.

Beginning right now, with the Disney Explorers Lodge, where the spirit of exploration had never looked more inviting.

     Thank you.

Published on: 2017-05-16

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