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Ocean Park plans for external partners to operate two thirds of the site

Ocean Park’s plan to shift from theme park to themed resort has attracted at least 20 potential partners, according to Chairman Lau Ming-wai.

Thrill Mountain Ocean Park

SCMP reports that at least 20 local and overseas partners want to get involved in Ocean Park‘s $361 million makeover.

These businesses are interested in opening new retail outlets, F&B offerings, and sports and adventure activities.

Hong Kong’s government is providing a $361m bailout to turn the troubled theme park into a travel destination and marine conservation hub.

“Everyone is very open-minded in looking forward to the future,” said Lau. “I don’t think the existing Ocean Park or its performance in previous years has been a discouragement to these partners.”

HK government providing $361m bailout

Lau’s plans involve the theme park occupying less than a third of the resort’s total area. The rest will be operated in partnership with external operators.

Ocean Park will consult the public and create an implementation plan. Lau will choose partners who include conservation elements in plans.

Restaurants may be required to use supplies from sustainable sources, while shops could focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“It will not be a case of whoever pays the highest price,” said Lau. “That’s the surest way to lose sight of the mission.”

Ocean Park could see turnaround from 2024

The 44-year old theme park has been operating at a loss for the past four years. The cash injection will allow Ocean Park to become an open-air classroom and adventure-themed resort. 

“But we want our partners to put their money where their mouth is,” he added. “We don’t want to become a platform where they can try things and fail for free.”

The government predicts that Ocean Park could see a turnaround from as early as 2024. Lau said the makeover will result in offerings for all age groups.

“The best way to choose our visitors is through our offerings,” he said. “If our offerings are very suitable for low-spending group tours, then something’s wrong.”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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