New Attendance Milestone for Theme Park in Hong Kong
Long-service Park Staff Share Touching Memories in 34 Rewarding Years
Ocean Park’s one hundred millionth guest since inception walked through the Park’s new entrance to a welcoming party headed by Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, who was accompanied by Whiskers and a group of exuberant performers. The history-making guest, Mr. Leung, was visiting the Park with his wife, two sons and relatives from Hangzhou, China. Not only is the attendance achievement a new milestone for both Ocean Park and Hong Kong, it is also a testament to their status as enduring international travel destinations. Having grown up with the community over the past 34 years, Ocean Park has seen its number of rides, shows and attractions grow from 12 to over 53 (and still growing), the number of animal ambassadors double, with a vastly wider variety of species, and its staff count expand from 300 to 1500. At today’s celebration, Dr. Zeman recognized 20 long-service staff members, who shared a number of touching stories from their over 34 years of service.
Mr Leung Wai-man, the 100 millionth guest, said, “Our family and our relatives are thrilled to be a part of Ocean Park’s historic moment. For us, Ocean Park not only offers excellent theme park experiences, but also provides an important opportunity for our kids to learn about animals and conservation. Our relatives from the mainland have heard a great deal about the new Aqua City theme zone, so we thought it was a great chance for us to experience all the excitement together.”
Dr. Zeman said, “I would like to thank the people of Hong Kong and visitors from around the world, the Government of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Tourism Board, as well as the Park’s dedicated staff for helping make this remarkable attendance achievement possible. Looking back, we can see that Park attendance grew steadily with an over 2.6 times increase in guest volume in the first 25 years, from 1.3 million in 1977 to 3.4 million in 1992. Excitement and attendance started climbing sharply, exceeding 5 million in 2007/08 and 2009/10, a few years after we embarked on our Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) in anticipation of the demand for the unique combination of conservation advocacy and top-notch theme park experiences that Ocean Park offers. From what used to be almost exclusively a local attraction, the guest mix today is 60% from overseas and 40% local, which demonstrates Ocean Park’s appeal as an international attraction and destination.”
Mr Philip Yung Wai-hung, JP, Commissioner for Tourism, said, “Over the past 34 years, Ocean Park has shown to the world Hong Kong’s tireless spirit of self-betterment and put on display the wonderful support Hong Kong has received from tourists from around the globe. With this achievement of 100 million in attendance, Ocean Park has marked a new chapter in the history of Hong Kong’s tourism industry.”
Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), congratulated Ocean Park on receiving its 100 millionth visitor. Mr Lau said, “This is such an important milestone for Hong Kong’s tourism. As one of Hong Kong’s most visited tourist attractions, Ocean Park brings together elements of entertainment, education and conservation. Through these years, the park has enjoyed huge popularity among visitors from the Mainland , as well as short- and long-haul markets, especially among the family segment. With the completion of new facilities at the attraction, the HKTB will join hands with the Park to strengthen promotions, attracting more visitors and further enhancing the city’s appeal as a family destination.”
For staff members who have been working at the Park since before it first opened in 1977, their most significant memories almost always revolve around special relationships they form while serving guests. Mr. Chan Cheuk-wai, for instance, has advanced from being a cable car operator to a cable car engineer over the years. He has kept even his uniform from some 20 years ago, which "Wai Gor” (nickname of Mr. Chan Cheuk-wai) proudly displayed at today’s celebration. He said, “One of my most memorable experiences working at Ocean Park occurred when we helped a quadriplegic guest from Malaysia, who was in a wheelchair, enjoy a ride on our cable car. We had to halt the system and took special care to get him in and out of the cable car cabin. It made me really proud to be a member of the Ocean Park family when he thanked us personally on his visit in the following yearfor going well beyond what any other theme park had ever done to ensure he had a unique and enjoyable experience.” Two guest relation staff members also took the stage to recount how the Park, during annual maintenance, drained the Raging River attraction to help a newlywed woman from Singapore find her wedding ring, which slipped off her finger during the thrill ride. The “rescue operation” has since become a favourite story of dedication and service among Park staff in the different departments involved in the incident.
For helping Ocean Park reach the attendance milestone of 100 million guests, the entire Leung family received lifetime VIP Passes to Ocean Park. They and their visiting relatives also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Aquarium and a sumptuous meal at Neptune’s Restaurant, the Park’s newest and most dramatic restaurant experience, overlooking the Grand Aquarium main gallery window.
Dr. Zeman added, “It is truly remarkable that Ocean Park has connected 100 million guests with nature and delivered conservation messages to them over all these years. With even more new attractions and animal exhibits to open under our MRP in the next two years, Ocean Park is set to extend its legacy by welcoming the next one hundred million guests in the coming years.”
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 95 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 2009-2010, Ocean Park maintained a total of 13 social care programmes, with over 350, 000 beneficiaries and an aggregate value to the community equivalent to HK$85, 000, 000.
Photo captions from top:
Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, Mr Philip Yung Wai-hung, JP, Commissioner for Tourism and Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) were joined by Mr. Leung Wai-man, the Park’s 100 millionth guest, his wife and two sons, as well as his visiting relatives from Hangzhou, China, in a group photograph in front of the Grand Aquarium, Ocean Park’s newest flagship attraction.
Mr Philip Yung Wai-hung, JP (front left 2), Commissioner for Tourism and Mr Anthony Lau (front left 1), Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) presented Ocean Park Lifetime VIP Passes to Mr. Leung Wai-man, the Park’s 100 millionth guest, and his family.
Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, and a group of exuberant performers celebrated Ocean Park’s reaching the milestone of having welcomed 100 million guests since inception with Mr. Leung Wai-man, the Park’s 100 millionth guest, who was accompanied by his wife and two sons.