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Speech by CE at grand opening of Iron Man Experience

Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the grand opening of the Iron Man Experience at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort this evening (January 10):

Bob (Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr Bob Chapek), Bill (President and Managing Director, Asia, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mr Bill Ernest), Sam (Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Mr Samuel Lau), distinguished guests, government colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening.

Very pleased to be here with you. Like you, I'm a big Iron Man fan. I particularly envy Iron Man for his black armoured suit when he goes on his "stealth missions". Sometimes I have "stealth missions" too in Hong Kong, doing my shopping in street markets, having my hair cut or walking my dogs in a park. So it's a big thrill to be here for the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Iron Man Experience, the first ever Marvel-themed ride in a Disney park.

This evening's event is, in fact, the second tourism-related event that I have attended today, after officiating at the 40th anniversary of the Hong Kong Ocean Park in the afternoon, which says something about the importance that I and my Government attach to tourism – a pillar industry that contributes 5 per cent to our total GDP and employs about 7 per cent of the workforce.

Hong Kong Disneyland is a major, strategic tourism investment. And a successful one. Since its opening in 2005, Disneyland has received over 58 million visitors, as well as coveted awards from the Themed Entertainment Association and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

And Disneyland has continued to introduce new attractions and offerings – the Fairy Tale Forest, Hyperspace Mountain and, of course, the Iron Man Experience. As you will discover, this is truly a Hong Kong ride – not very often that you get to fly over Tsing Ma Bridge, Victoria Harbour and a few of our mountain ranges, while fighting alongside the Iron Man to save our city.

Beyond the Marvel superhero, the Walt Disney Company and the Government will continue to bring more fantastic offerings to the Hong Kong Disneyland. Just last month, we announced the expansion and development plan for Disneyland, with new attractions rolling out starting from 2018. The expansion, together with the completion of major cross-boundary infrastructure in the next few years, including one of the longest bridges in the world, the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge that will provide a fixed road link between Lantau Island, where we are, and the west bank of the Pearl River Delta area, will bring in more visitors from the Mainland of China, Southeast Asia and the world beyond.

The Government will, as always, support the development of Hong Kong Disneyland and the tourism sector. Joining hands with the industry and the community, we will strive to promote diversified and high value-added tourism, and boost Hong Kong's standing as a premier destination for tourists all over the world.

I wish all of you an enjoyable evening with Iron Man. And a prosperous, healthy and happy new year – both 2017 and the forthcoming Chinese New Year of the Chicken.

Thank you.


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