Surpassing 5 Million Attendance and Generating $924.5 Million in Revenue
Ocean Park capped off its successful “Year of the Panda” by tabling the Company’s 2007/2008 annual report at today’s Legislative Council (Legco) meeting. With an annual attendance of 5.03 million, this marks the fifth consecutive year the Park has broken its own attendance record. At $242.6 million, in-park revenue has grown by 7%, compared to the prior year, and admission revenues reached $681.9 million, a 10% year-on-year growth. The final surplus for the Park reached $204.7 million, a new record and represents 19% growth from the year before.
Prof Hon Patrick Lau Sau-shing, SBS, JP, an Ocean Park Board Member and a Legco representative, reported at Legco that Ocean Park continued to reach out to guests with unique offerings that connected them to nature and inspiring all to appreciate the value of conservation. These offerings included the showcasing of four giant pandas – An An, Jia Jia and their younger counterparts, Ying Ying and Le Le – at the new-look Hong Kong Jockey Club Giant Panda Habitat, as well as the arrival of new ambassadors for aquatic conservation – the Chinese sturgeons, a Class One protected endangered animal species in China.
Mr. Lau also reported on other milestones achieved by Ocean Park, such as the opening of Cafe Ocean in May. Also taking place in May was the breakthrough of the funicular tunnel, which paved the way for the Park’s newest guest transportation system, the Ocean Express funicular, to proceed to the next stage of construction. Ocean Express is slated for a mid-2009 commissioning. Other projects on the Master Redevelopment Plan that are nearing completion include Asia’s finest and most state-of-the–art Veterinary Centre, and the Amazing Asian Animals attraction area, which will open in late 2008 and in the spring of 2009, respectively.
Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “Ocean Park is heartened by the continued growth for this financial year and we have to thank the people and partners in Hong Kong, Mainland, and other places, as well as all our local and overseas guests. During this period, we have connected 5.03 million guests to the wonders of nature. Among them, 32, 000 local schoolchildren from 230 schools, and their parents and teachers, joined our 1, 200 classes covering 30 diverse topics about nature and conservation. These were all developed and run by Ocean Park’s education specialists at the Ocean Park Academy, Hong Kong (OPAHK).”
As Hong Kong’s People’s Park, Ocean Park cares about our communities. This year, the Park enhanced an initiative, enabling holders of the “Registration Card for People with Disabilities” to enjoy free admission to Ocean Park, while a caregiver can enjoy half-price admission. The Park also allocated HK$2 million to OPAHK, which will provide full financial support every year for the next four years, for up to 5, 000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to take up programmes run by OPAHK.
Additionally, Ocean Park joined its staff, and its conservation arm, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), and raised over HK$3 million to support different causes, including China’s winter relief and Sichuan’s earthquake relief, while OPCFHK spearheaded fundraising drives to facilitate earthquake recovery efforts of Sichuan’s panda bases and facilities. Ocean Park also partnered with charitable organisations, such as Operation Santa Claus, as well as presented the Ocean Park Halloween Bash Yan Oi Tong Charity Preview Night, and the Ocean Park Christmas Sensation – Celebration of Life with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, to help these organisations raise funds. In December 2007, Ocean Park celebrated the 15th IDDP-Ocean Park Fun Day, in which 4, 000 people with disabilities, and their families, enjoyed free admission to the Park.
To bolster OPCFHK’s conservation work in the region, Ocean Park continued its support by channelling HK$9.21 million to the foundation, which funded over 50 research and conservation projects.
Ocean Park’s dedication in conservation has been well documented in the international animal care and husbandry community. This year, Ocean Park was accredited by two world governing bodies – the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums – for the second five-year term, and continues to be the only facility outside the Americas to receive the AZA accreditation.
As a world-class theme park in edutainment, Ocean Park constantly provides inspirational and fun-filled entertainment programmes. In the springtime, Ocean Park Animal Month – In High-Definition welcomed Ocean Park’s first-ever stingray touch pool where guests were able to interact with cownose stingrays. And in October, Asia’s biggest party was at the 7th Ocean Park Halloween Bash. Other events in the Park’s annual “Big Five” offerings included Summer Splash, Christmas Sensation, and Lunar Lucky Fiesta, all of which helped cement the Park’s position as Hong Kong’s must-see destination by giving guests a fresh dose of entertainment and an extra reason to visit.
According to Dr. Zeman, Ocean Park will continue to work closely with the Tourism Commission, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, as well as travel agencies and business partners to promote Ocean Park and make Hong Kong a top travel destination. Ocean Park will also develop relationships with overseas markets such as India, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
With regards to its people assets, Ocean Park strives be an employer of choice in Hong Kong. The Park’s efforts in staff development and engagement have resulted in a 90% retention rate.
Dr. Zeman said, “This is Ocean Park’s fifth consecutive record-breaking year – a thrilling achievement that reinforces our ability to give our guests what they want, when they want it. Going forward, it is hoped guests will be able to stay at Ocean Hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel or Spa Hotel – all currently at the planning stage – in a move to reinforce Hong Kong’s role as a premier Asian travel destination.
“We are maintaining a positive outlook for the coming year while remaining cautiously optimistic about our potential to build on our success. We will reach out to and develop new markets while continuing to bring unique experiences to keep our guests coming back for more. We will work hard for the best interests of our guests, for Ocean Park, and for Hong Kong.”
Ocean Park’s 2007/2008 fiscal year is from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008.
About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique homegrown 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 90 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 the Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.