Ocean Park announces losses, new edutainment initiatives

Ocean Park has announced net deficit of HK$236.5m – although revenue was up 4%, and visitor numbers stable on last year.

In the 2017/18 financial year the park recorded revenue of HK$1,686.2 million and attendance of 5.8 million.

Ocean Park has also announced plans for edutainment initiatives. These include a 3D light show, enriched Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and conservation education programmes, a technology-driven learning hub, and ecotours.

Leo Kung, Chairman of Ocean Park, said: “During the fiscal year 2017/18, Ocean Park was on track to transform the Park into a world-class resort destination. The revenue growth in 2017/18 reflects the huge efforts we have undertaken to diversify the Park’s revenue streams. In the past year, we have elevated our entertainment and night offerings, broadened education scope by incorporating STEAM concepts and stepped up our efforts to appeal to new market segments. The Park’s evolution has also seen the adoption of new technologies to enhance the guest experience, and a widened food and beverage portfolio.

The park attributes the net deficit to more investment in entertainment and hospitality offerings, a rise in facility maintenance costs and other operating costs, as well as ongoing financial commitments and high depreciation. The net deficit in 2016/17 was HK$234.4m.

Edutainment initiatives

Ocean Park will also benefit from HK$310 million funding announced in the Government’s 2018/19. The park will use these funds on a variety of tourism promotion and education initiatives – including the creation of a signature evening and multimedia show that will become an all-new tourism offering for Hong Kong. The show will immerse audiences into an animal conservation narrative through multimedia effects and performances.

Funding will also be allocated to the creation of a new, technology-driven STEAM education hub at the Park. The interactive learning centre will promote the conservation of natural habitats, ecosystems and biological diversity.

The new education hub is scheduled to launch in 2020/21.

Last month Ocean Park launched an edutainment Adventure Camp 2018-19 in partnership with Baker & Bloom.

The park is on track with their long term strategy. The Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel had a soft opening in late October, and the Ocean Park Water World and the Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong will open in the next few years.

The Park will carry out a review of its strategic positioning with a view to taking the guest journey, resort engagement, in-resort experience and after-visit experience to the next level.

Kung said: “As an iconic destination in Hong Kong, Ocean Park seeks to synergise with the Government’s Development Blueprint for Hong Kong’s Tourism Industry to further the growth of the Park and contribute to the long-term success of the economy. Being Hong Kong’s unique home-grown resort destination and community asset, we will continue to service Hong Kong through conservation education and social care endeavours.”