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(Hong Kong – 27 July 2009) After a lengthy discussion at the special Board meeting held late this afternoon, the Board Members of Ocean Park has made the decision to enable all guests to enjoy the current day admission price of $208 (for adults) and $103 (for children between three to 11) throughout this summer and continuing to October golden week.  The new day admission prices of $250 for adults and $125 for children will take effect on 5 October.  This decision was made at today’s special Board meeting, following last week’s session with legislators of the Legco Panel on Economic Development to review the price adjustment, which was announced by Ocean Park on 1 July 2009. 

(See Fact Sheet for complete price list for day admission and SmartFun Annual Passes)

Dr Allan Zeman, chairman of Ocean Park, said, “Price adjustments are inevitable as more new attractions are introduced and as operating costs continue to rise.  Even though Ocean Park is a not-for-profit statutory body, it is still incumbent upon the Board to manage the business and finances of the Park in a prudent and responsible manner.  As Hong Kong’s People’s Park, we must also hear and acknowledge what the community wants.  Over the past weeks, we have heard requests to re-consider the timing of the price adjustment.”

He continued, “Board Members took this issue very much to heart at the meeting today, and we deliberated for a long time, trying to strike the best balance between public sentiment, and the financial viability of Ocean Park, so that we will not be a burden to taxpayers, while growing Ocean Park to become a world-class tourist destination. We tried to hold off the adjustment, and after thorough considerations, the Board of Ocean Park has decided to implement the price adjustment on 5 October.  This decision will cost the Park a loss of cash inflow, totalling approximately $40 million for this fiscal year.”

"Our corporate social mission to enable as many Hong Kong people to visit Ocean Park will remain our guiding principle.  At the same time, we will continue to come up with innovative and timely admission promotions for guests to enjoy the multitude of immersive offerings Ocean Park offers,” Dr Zeman added. 

According to Dr Zeman, over 80 percent of all guests had visited Ocean Park last year enjoying some form of pricing concession.  “Being a caring organisation, all the existing 10 concessionary admission initiatives, including the newest one launched on 1 July for recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme (CSSA) to enjoy the Park’s offerings at $20, are in place to ensure all Hong Kong people can visit Ocean Park.  In fact, for our new CSSA initiative, over 3,000 people have already visited us since 1 July,” he added. 

(For all admission concession initiatives, please refer to the Fact Sheet)

Dr Zeman also said, “Meanwhile, our Master Redevelopment Project (MRP), which has been undertaken with the aim of enhancing the Park’s appeal to local and overseas guests, is proceeding according to schedule and making great progress.  We have promised our guests that our entertainment offerings will increase, and so far, with the launch of Amazing Asian Animals in April of this year, our regular attractions have increased from 35, to 43. The next in line will be the Ocean Express funicular system, which we will open for operation in September 2009. When the MRP is completed in 2012/13, Ocean Park’s entertainment capacity will double, from the present 35 attractions, to over 70.”

He added, “The MRP is beneficial to Hong Kong as it generates direct employment within Ocean Park, which will double the headcount from 1,500 to 3,000, as well as indirect employment for people related to the design and construction of our new facilities, and all supporting disciplines and neighbourhood businesses.”

"Obviously, there are significant expenses related to this, but at the end of the day, the redevelopment will enable Ocean Park to reinforce its position as Hong Kong’s best tourist attraction,” Dr Zeman said.

Dr Zeman also said that Ocean Park will remain a close partner with the travel trade and operators to work together to promote destination tourism to Hong Kong.

In conclusion, Dr Zeman said, “Raising prices is never a popular decision, but it is a necessity. We promise we will continue to be a good listener, and strike a balance between the needs of the community, and the viability of Ocean Park.  We will always be great value for money, and we welcome everybody to come and visit. Ocean Park is, after all, your park.”