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EVENTS AND REDEVELOPMENT CREATE JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT OCEAN PARK DESPITE CHALLENGING TIMES FOR HONG KONG

2009-01-22

(Hong Kong – 22 January 2009) Ocean Park will support the call to create jobs made by the Chief Executive Donald Tsang, who spoke at the third meeting of the Task Force on Economic Challenges held today.

According to Ocean Park chairman, Dr Allan Zeman, Ocean Park’s ongoing event programme developments, and its HK$5.55 billion Master Redevelopment Project (MRP) are creating employment opportunities for 2009 and beyond despite possible challenges predicted for Hong Kong.

“We will launch two major MRP attractions this year. Amazing Asian Animals will open this spring, while the Ocean Express funicular system will be commissioned this summer. We have already begun hiring to prepare for the two openings, and we will ultimately hire a total of 100 full time staff with different expertise, from front-line jobs in F&B, retail sales, education officers, guest service, to central support roles in engineering, animal care, and maintenance,” Dr Zeman said.

The MRP, which is currently proceeding, and will be completed in 2012/13, will double Ocean Park’s attractions from the current 35, to over 70.

Dr Zeman continued, “During the redevelopment, it is business as usual at Ocean Park. To give guests reasons to come to Ocean Park regularly, we present new and compelling offerings at least five times a year. These are what our “Five Annual Events,” namely Summer Splash, Halloween Bash, Christmas Sensation, Lucky Lunar Fiesta, and Animal Month – In High Definition, are all about. Each time we hold such an event, we will require extra seasonal hands. For 2009, we will be hiring over 1,000 of these seasonal staff.”

“In 2009, we will also award five new MRP contracts. These will generate further employment opportunities in the construction field,” he added.

According to Dr Zeman, Ocean Park is an active supporter of developing tomorrow’s talents today, as he reported that the “Ocean Park Theme Park F&B Services Trainee Programme,” which was launched in October 2008, and will last for nine months, is running smoothly. Twenty-four trainees between the ages of 15 to 24, have been recruited for the programme, which is a partnership among Ocean Park , Labour Department’s Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme (YWETS,) the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre (HITDC) of the VTC, and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG.)

In addition, Ocean Park will commit to run internship programmes in 2009 for students from tertiary institutions, such as the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education.

Dr Zeman also said that Ocean Park’s hotel development plans have been approved by the Town Planning Board, subject to specific conditions being followed. “We will study the conditions and adjust our plans where necessary. Once we get the final approval, hundreds of construction and hospitality service vacancies will also be created,” he added.

Ocean Park is a not-for-profit statutory body with a mandate to connect guests to nature by blending education, conservation, and entertainment. The Park also aims to be the Employer of Choice, and offers comparative and competitive packages, as well as comprehensive staff development programmes. The current workforce is about 1,200 full-time, and over 400 part-time staff.

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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.