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OCEAN PARK UPDATES THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT COUNCIL ON ITS EXCITING HOTEL DEVELOPMENT PLANS MASTER REDEVELOPMENT ALSO PROCEEDING WELL

2008-02-28

(Hong Kong – 28 February) Ocean Park today presented to the Southern District Council (SDC) an update of the Master Redevelopment Plan, as well as the proposed hotel development plans within the Park. The hotels will each have their own distinctive theme, and Ocean Park will invite developers to invest and participate in the design, construction and operation of the hotels. The hotels, expected to open from 2011/12 onwards, will further enhance the appeal of Ocean Park as a key vacation destination for both the locals and tourists alike.

This meeting follows the decision made in January by the Task Force on Redevelopment of Ocean Park and Tourist Attractions in Aberdeen, chaired by the Financial Secretary, John Tsang, to support in principle the building of three hotels in Ocean Park.

According to Ocean Park’s chairman, Dr Allan Zeman, the proposed hotel development is an important supporting infrastructure to enhance the tourism appeal of both Ocean Park and Hong Kong, through diversifying guest experiences, and prolonging their length of stay. “Most major theme parks today include themed accommodation within the park boundaries to anchor and enhance guest stay, and our Master Redevelopment Plan has always envisaged a standalone hotel development,” he added.

The proposed developments will cater to the needs of different market segments, and will include Ocean Hotel, a 3 to 4 star hotel near the Entry Plaza, Fisherman’s Wharf, a 4-star hotel at Tai Shue Wan, and a deluxe 5-star Spa Hotel at the Summit area.

Dr Zeman said, “These proposed hotel developments will be a timely response to the Chief Executive’s call in his Policy Address 2007/08 for promoting MICE tourism and supporting hotel development.” He added, “It is our vision that the hotel developments in Ocean Park provide venues for group visitors, independent travellers and companies coming for conferences and business events, thereby opening a new market segment for the redeveloped Park.”

Dr Zeman also said that construction of the MTR South Island Line (SIL) will make Ocean Park an attractive site for hotel development, as the rail link will improve the connectivity between Ocean Park and the rest of Hong Kong.

Once completed, the three hotels are likely to bring an additional 36,800 visitations in the first year of operations to Ocean Park and to the south side of Hong Kong Island. According to Dr Zeman, these additional visitations will benefit Hong Kong’s other tourist-related sectors, such as the retail and restaurant businesses.

Additionally, the hotel development is expected to bring about employment opportunities during the construction phase and for the long term operations of the hotels.

Currently, the Park is pursuing the necessary planning approval from the Town Planning Board. Ocean Park will invite tenders for the hotel development once approval is granted by the Town Planning Board.

At the SDC meeting, Ocean Park also reported on the progress of the Park’s Master Redevelopment. According to Dr Zeman, the project is developing according to schedule, with SkyFair having been operational since early 2007, and construction works proceeding well with the new Waterfront (now known as the “Lowland”) attractions - Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, and Summit (now known as the “Headland”) attractions -Thrill Mountain, Rainforest, and Polar Adventure, as well as the funicular system connecting the two parts, all of which are slated to open in phases from end 2008 to 2012/13.

“We are truly excited about our developments, as well as the arrival of the SIL, which, together, will reinforce Ocean Park as the world’s best marine themed park that connects our guests with mother nature with exciting day and night activities. With the new business and tourism opportunities brought about by the new hotel, retail and entertainment elements, Ocean Park will be the catalyst for the Aberdeen Tourism Project, creating a more vibrant Southern District and help pitch Hong Kong as the family destination of choice for visitors from Mainland China and other countries,” Dr Zeman said.

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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 not-for-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 85 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation.