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Ocean Park 2019/2020 Financial Results Reflect the Most Challenging Year in the Park’s History

2020-12-16

Strategic Reorientation of Operations to Boost Competitiveness

Ocean Park today announced its financial results for the 2019/2020 fiscal year ending on 30 June 2020. With 139 days of temporary closures and a significant reduction in operating capacity for business days in 1H2020 resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, accompanied with a sharp plunge in tourist arrivals, the Park’s attendance fell to 2.2 million visitors in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, down 61.7% from 5.7 million visitors in the prior year. 
 
In view of the subsequent decline in admission, catering and merchandise revenues and other in-park spending, the Park recorded HK$717.1 million in revenue for 2019/2020, down 58.7% year-on-year from HK$1,734.9 million.
 
“Market conditions deteriorated rapidly and Ocean Park was not immune to the unavoidable impact of the COVID-19 crisis, despite taking proactive emergency cost-saving initiatives. We imposed strict control of operating expenses and discretionary expenses, expanded on energy conservation, suspended non-urgent and non-essential hires, and enacted no-pay-leave and salary cuts for staff members. We deployed the HK$5.4 billion of Government funding assistance that was approved in May 2020 in the most prudent way. All of the Park’s programmes and events were carried out in an agile and fast-turnaround manner to allow flexible activation and budget management,” said Ysanne Chan, Chief Executive of Ocean Park for the fiscal year of 2020/2021. “Consequently, the Park’s operating costs were lowered by 17.1% to HK$1,279.4 million in 2019/2020.”
 
An Ocean of Extraordinary Experiences
Chan continued, “Other than cost management, Ocean Park has taken the necessary steps to reposition its experiences in light of the new normal brought by COVID-19. We drew good insights from a wide spectrum of stakeholders in an engagement programme conducted earlier this year. Building upon the Park’s unique natural hillside terrain and the stunning sea views from Hong Kong’s southern coastlines, we have reoriented the Park’s events direction and theme towards well-being. This rejuvenates our offerings and also encourages locals to get active and embrace the great outdoors. Besides health-oriented experiences and staycations, we are exploring cultural tourism and developing new tourism initiatives with stronger elements in education and conservation.”

Ocean Park is now working closely with the Government on the rethink exercise for Ocean Park. The Park is also looking to further enhance its visitor base by collaborating with the Government’s newly announced Invigorating Island South initiative. Taking in all that the Southern District has to offer, the Park will create synergy with other attractions and points-of-interest in the Southern District to bring an all-new flavour and appeal to Hongkongers and tourists alike. These include taking on the mission of revitalising and preserving the Jumbo Floating Restaurant on a not-for-profit basis.
 
Continuous efforts in Education and Conservation
Notwithstanding the substantial uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Ocean Park remains steadfast in its commitment to education and conservation. The Park has swiftly evolved its education programmes and took them online, and kept up conservation work vital to the wildlife and the community. The Park also strengthened its edutainment offerings and digital presence to sustain the Park experience amid social distancing measures. 
 
As schools closed and classes were interrupted, Ocean Park introduced a YouTube channel titled Redd’s Nature Play Party, providing experiential learning for children. Widely adopted by teachers to complement their school curriculum and the students’ e-learning experience, the channel features a collection of over 60 videos and has received close to seven million views since its debut. 
 
For the first reopening in June 2020 following nearly five months of temporary closure, Ocean Park launched its new African-themed animal habitat, Little Meerkat and Giant Tortoise Adventure, which incorporates many interactive and experiential elements. The Park also introduced the Redd’s 5 Senses Discovery, a free educational programme designed to encourage children to discover the wonders of nature through play and experiential learning, guided by their parents.
 
On the conservation front, apart from the grand opening of the Hong Kong Marine Life Stranding and Education Centre in September 2019, the Park continued to support numerous stranding rescues and conservation projects in conjunction with Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong. Meanwhile, as of the end of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, there are more than 300 academic research publications and presentations authored or co-authored by the Ocean Park team since 1994.