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Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reveals future vision as adventure-themed attraction
Hong Kong theme park Ocean Park has unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for the future that aims to create an adventure-themed resort destination with a focus on nature, conservation and edutainment.
The HK$10.6 billion (US$1.3 billion) plan, which envisages Ocean Park ending its animal shows, calls for a redevelopment of the attraction into new experiential zones with adventure as the overarching theme linked to the introduction of an array of new attractions and hi-technology thrill rides, including amazing a number of self-paced, interactive rides.
The new design will also showcase the beauty of Ocean Park’s natural setting on the southern coastline in an entirely different light, encourage immersive interplay between the visitor and the environment, as well as inspire a deeper love for nature.
Launching the plan this week, Ocean Park Chairman, Leo Kung stated “our globally recognised conservation and education focus makes Ocean Park much more than an amusement park.
“This strategic repositioning plan will build on our legacy as a park that blends entertainment with education and conservation.
“It aims to offer guests of every age new adventure and discovery experiences like nowhere else, setting Ocean Park apart from the APAC region’s increasingly competitive theme park industry.”
Ocean Park, which currently offers a marine mammal park and amusement park with more than 80 attractions, will be seeking financial assistance from the Hong Kong Government to help implement the ambitious new repositioning plan that will shape it into seven experiential zones.
The current waterfront will come to be two themed zones, Ocean Square and Azure Bay with a new entrance to the attraction created so that Ocean Square is accessible to the public for free.
This area will offer dining, retail and event spaces.
Azure Bay will feature water elements, signature rides and other adventure activities, as well as a new Deep Water Bay Pier, environmentally-friendly sightseeing ferries, and a new monorail ride taking guests from the park entrance to the pier.
At the New Summit, there will be five different themed zones - Discovery Grove, Pacific Point, Ocean’s Edge, Adventure Valley and Explorer’s Wharf. Each will include thrill rides, adventure experiences and edutainment offerings.
Discovery Grove, the highlight of the New Summit, will be an all-weather zone and includes a new indoor rollercoaster using the latest multimedia technology.
Pacific Point will house F&B, Ocean’s Edge will include two self-controlled thrill coasters, while Adventure Valley will feature a car racing experience.
Ocean Theatre will be converted into a new multi-purpose performance venue, with the marine mammals moved to a new exhibit at Explorer’s Wharf.
Kung added “marine animals in the Park’s care play a vital role in the Park’s conservation and education mission (but) under the new plan, the Ocean Wonder show will cease.
“Dolphins will continue to inspire our guests to help protect the oceans and marine ecosystems through up-close observations, educational presentations and interactive programmes themed around marine conservation.”
The new Ocean Park is expected to attract up to 7.5 million visitors in 2027 and 2028, generating HK$43.8 billion (US$5.6 billion) in projected economic benefits to Hong Kong.
It will also create 11,100 full-time jobs.
Explaining the philosophy behind the upgrades, Kung concluded “the shift in inbound visitor profile as traditional tour groups are replaced by FIT (frequent independent traveller) tourists and family travellers makes it imperative for the Park to garner a new strategic positioning.
“The proposed blueprint and creative concepts are based on extensive research and conceptualized using the Design Thinking approach, with guests at the epicentre every step of the way. We are confident that this strategic repositioning plan will give the Park a much-needed boost and reshape the future of Ocean Park.”
“As the Hong Kong people’s park, a home-grown international brand and an all-time favourite for tourists from all over the world, we call for the support of the community on our strategic repositioning plan, which is set to reinvent Ocean Park, enable its financial sustainability and strengthen Hong Kong’s attraction as a premier world-class destination.”
News of the redevelopment comes after Ocean Park posted a deficit of HK$557.3 million (US$72 million) in the last fiscal year. It attributed the loss to investments in edutainment offerings and the reinvention of rides with digital technologies.
Ocean Park has not advised when its long-awaited waterpark will open.
Images: Ocean Park today (top) and concepts for its redevelopment.
16th December 2019 - Ride investment sees Ocean Park rack up another year of deficit
4th November 2019 - Hong Kong Disneyland annual 10K event promotes inclusivity and healthy living
4th September 2019 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park launches marine research facility
9th August 2019 - Protests impact Hong Kong tourism
10th July 2019 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park looks to treble solar power capacity by 2020
7th June 2019 - Entrance prices at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park rise by 4%
18th February 2019 - Revenue rises but deficit remains at Ocean Park Hong Kong
1st March 2018 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park to get HK$310 million Government bail out
18th September 2017 - Ocean Park Hong Kong closes Halloween-themed haunted house after guest death
29th July 2017 - Ocean Park seeks new Ticketing and Admission System
24th September 2016 - Ocean Park Chief Executive confident of attracting more visitors
13th May 2016 - Ocean Park event celebrates panda conservation
31st March 2016 - Ocean Park Hong Kong names new Chief Executive
21st March 2016 - Ocean Park launches free Wi-Fi and new Mobile App to attract visitors
10th February 2016 - Dramatic decline in visitation sees Ocean Park lose over a million visitors in 2015
7th November 2015 - Ocean Park waterpark to make a splash in 2018
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