Ocean Park today released its annual report for the 2010/11 fiscal year that ended 30 June 2011, during which a record high of nearly 5.9 million guests – 16% over the previous year – took home important conservation messages and wonderful memories.
The launch of Aqua City and the Rainforest, both featuring new and amazing animal ambassadors, together with iconic seasonal presentations, such as the 10th annual Halloween Bash, helped to bolster both Ocean Park and Hong Kong as international family travel destinations. In the course of setting its seventh new attendance record in eight years, the Park produced many new highs, including a strong growth of 44% in EBITDA to HK$339.2 million and a net surplus of HK$105.1 million. Park revenue also broke the billion dollar mark for the very first time, finishing the year at HK1.2 billion.
Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, said “Marking our most significant milestone since inception 34 years ago, the unveiling of the New Ocean Park experience envisioned in our HK$5.5 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) has enriched our platform of conservation advocacy and strengthened the tourism appeal of Hong Kong. Not only did the launch of Aqua City draw three consecutive days of capacity attendance – the first ever for Ocean Park – during the Chinese New Year, it also set off five consecutive months of record attendance. To appreciate the magnitude of the upward momentum, we only have to notice how attendance during the 12 months ending September 2011, which reached 6.6 million, has far exceeded the same 12 month period of the prior year, at 5.4 million.”
Dr. Zeman added, “Equally gratifying, our guests have extended their length of stay by an average of 90 minutes and per capita in-park spending has gone up by 21% – both signalling that they are finding even more value in our offerings. The strong results of 2010/11 ensured that we can continue to grow as a community asset and contribute to Hong Kong’s tourism and economy. For instance, during the past year alone, we have increased our full-time headcount by 16%. Ocean Park’s record performance has also put us in a sound financial position to prepare for loan repayment to commercial lenders commencing in December 2011 while maintaining a healthy level of reserves for contingencies and future development.”
Hong Kong’s People’s Park
Ocean Park continued to contribute to the community by fulfilling its role as Hong Kong’s People’s Park through the largest portfolio of community care programmes among theme parks worldwide. During 2010/11, over 145, 000 birthday stars, 185, 000 senior citizens, as well as 26, 000 persons with disabilities visited Ocean Park for free. In all, 450, 000 people benefited from the Park’s 13 community care programmes, with a total value equivalent to HK$110 million – a nearly 30% increase over the previous year and a new record. Moreover, through a variety of programmes, Ocean Park continued to offer training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged young people, helping them gain skills and confidence as contributing members of society.
During the 2010/11 fiscal year, Ocean Park benefited from strong growth in tourist arrivals and the timely progress of the MRP. Among the highlights are the January opening of Aqua City, one of the world’s best new aquariums; and the June launch of the Rainforest, which expanded the Park’s conservation platform from the sea floor to the canopy of the rainforest. The Park also extended animal encounter beyond its doors for the first time by building an Asian Otter exhibit outside its new iconic entrance. Other changes that transformed the guest experience and the dynamic of the Southern District as a travel destination included: the extension of opening hours, the expansion of parking facilities, and the introduction of a new rental service for wheelchairs and baby trolleys. Two other attractions that opened in 2010/11 were: Sea Life Carousel, a conservation-themed merry-go-round; and The Flash, a spinning pendulum-style ride that launched as the first attraction in the Thrill Mountain theme zone.
A Gigantic classroom for Conservation
Ocean Park’s commitment to and achievements in conservation continued to shine through the work of its conservation arm – Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK). In the 2010/11 fiscal year, the Foundation received a record amount of HK$9.3 million from Ocean Park and supported 28 projects on 21 species. Ocean Park also contributed its expertise in animal care and education to conservation efforts outside Hong Kong. As a technical advisor to the Development Bureau of the HKSAR government on Wolong rebuilding efforts, Ocean Park played host in June 2011 to officials from Wolong on a study tour in Hong Kong, sharing with the guests the Park’s experience and expertise in animal and conservation education. On a more global level, Ocean Park hosted its first international symposium during the launch to Aqua City to share insights and experience on conservation with experts representing aquariums from all over the world.
Ocean Park has long distinguished itself as a gigantic classroom for local students to learn about conservation through encountering live animals. According to a recent independent survey, over 97% of respondents reported that they would recommend Ocean Park to their friends and relatives as an ideal place for learning about environmental protection and wildlife conservation. Since 1992, nearly 600, 000 students have benefited from the Park’s interactive and engaging educational courses. During the 2010/11 school year, a record high of 54, 000 local students learned about many of the new species and habitats showcased in newly opened themed zones, which feature exclusive classroom facilities specially integrated into the design of the attractions. To give local students a New Ocean Park experience, the Park also expanded its educational budget, staff size and teaching methodology to enhance the educational experience.
Dr. Zeman, said, “Thanks to the support of the community, diverse stakeholders in both public and private sectors, as well as guests from mainland China and around the world, Ocean Park was able to develop, for Hong Kong, a world-class family destination that integrates conservation, education and entertainment. I would also like to thank our business and conservation partners for their spirit of collaboration, and the entire Ocean Park staff for their professionalism and dedication in delivering the New Ocean Park experience and making 2010/11 truly a year to remember.”
Dr. Zeman concluded, “With the recent unveiling of Thrill Mountain and the upcoming launch of Polar Adventure, the new fiscal year promises to be exceptionally exciting. We also look forward to the year-long celebration of the Park’s 35th anniversary throughout 2012 and new developments over the next five years, including the transformation of the now-closed Tai Shue Wan area into a new themed zone.”
Ocean Park’s 2010/2011 fiscal year runs from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.
About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique home grown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organisation, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognised for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 105 million people have visited Hong Kong’s premier park since its inception, and Ocean Park has remained committed to offering adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation. Part of the proceeds from Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.
Ocean Park – Giving Back to the Community
As Hong Kong’s People’s Park, Ocean Park has launched different community initiatives to enable Hong Kong people from all walks of life to enjoy the Park’s offerings. These initiatives include 1) concessionary admission for Hong Kong residents on their birthdays, Hong Kong residents aged 65 years and above, and holders of Registration Card for People with Disabilities; and 2) sponsored admission to individuals and members of families receiving assistance from the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme (CSSA), and Social Welfare Department member organizations. The Park also gives donation-in-kind to charitable organizations, offers special rates for school tours, and spearheads many other community caring projects. During the fiscal year of 2010-2011, Ocean Park maintained a total of 13 social care programmes, with over 450, 000 beneficiaries and an aggregate value to the community equivalent to HK$110 million.