Is a new vision required, as Ocean Park Hong Kong records a HK$234 million deficit and announces a 9 per cent admission fee increase?
This is the second consecutive loss for Ocean Park Hong Kong (the theme park recorded a loss of HK$241 million for 2015/16). The company cites increased competition locally and weak global economic growth as factors in its annual report.
However, it should be noted that Tourism Board figures that indicate tourist arrivals have taken an upturn this year after declining in 2015 and 2016.
The South China Morning Post says the park is losing its standing as the best, if not the biggest, theme park in the region. It blames the development of rivals such as the marine park in nearby Zhuhai.
Ocean Park Hong Kong is fighting back with a range of offers. It’s promoting birthday discounts and free night-time admission during the holiday season. A major all-weather water theme park – Water World – is being built together with two hotels (The Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel and The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong) to transform the theme park into a resort destination.
Ocean Park is also taking notice of changes in public taste, and shifting its focus to that of a conservation centre.
The message from Ocean Park’s Chairman, Mr. Leo KUNG Lin-cheng, in the company’s annual report notes that transformation plans in place for the theme park are vital to halt the decline in performance:
“The fiscal year of 2016/17 in many ways reaffirmed the strategic importance of Ocean Park’s transformation from a destination theme park to a premier international resort destination so that we stay ahead of the game and remain a leading attraction in the region.”