Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park announces new strategic vision

Ocean Park Hong Kong has unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for the future that leverages the Park’s unique ability to integrate nature, conservation and edutainment. The plan, which calls for redevelopment of the Park into seven experiential zones with adventure as the overarching theme, will introduce an array of new attractions and hi-tech 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.

“Our globally recognized conservation and education focus makes Ocean Park much more than an amusement park,” said Leo Kung, Chairman of Ocean 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 will look to the Hong Kong Government to play a role in financing the strategic repositioning plan which is expected to cost HK$10.64 billion, with new attractions to be launched in phases from 2023 to 2027.

“The shift in inbound visitor profile as traditional tour groups are replaced by FIT (frequent independent traveler) tourists and family travelers makes it imperative for the Park to garner a new strategic positioning,” Kung added. “The proposed blueprint and creative concepts are based on extensive research and conceptualized using the Design Thinking approach, with guests at the epicenter 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.”

Growing with Hong Kong and its economy

The all new Ocean Park is expected to attract up to 7.5 million visitors in 2027/28, generating HK$43.8 billion in projected economic benefits to Hong Kong in the lead up to 2030 (based on 2019 prices), and create an estimated 11,100 full-time jobs by 2029/30 in total.

“As the Hong Kong people’s park, a home-grown international brand and an all-time favorite 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,” added Kung.

Seven brand new zones for elevated guest experiences

The Park has been working on its strategic repositioning plan since 2018. Insights generated from research and surveys done in Hong Kong and six other key visitor source markets across Asia — Mainland China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea — underline the planning and design principles for the new Ocean Park.

The proposed master plan will see Ocean Park evolve into an Adventure-themed Resort Destination inspired by nature and underpinned by conservation, which empowers visitors to take a respite from city life, explore together with those who matter most, and share individualized and memorable experiences that truly impress. The new design maximizes the sites’ unique topography and shorelines, with new family-oriented, all-weather attractions, and self-paced and interactive thriller rides to elevate the guest experience. Other than being a natural classroom park-wide, the Park also plans to add a new indoor education center.

The current Waterfront will be opened up and divided into two themed zones: Ocean Square and the new Azure Bay, with a new entrance to the Park being created, so that Ocean Square becomes accessible to the public for free, allowing guests to enjoy an array of dining and retail offerings, and world-class performances. This will provide totally different experiences during the day and night, and entertain Hongkongers and overseas guests of all ages before they enter the Park.

Situated just behind the new entrance, Azure Bay will feature water elements, together with signature rides and other trail and adventure facilities which leverage the Park’s topography. The new Deep Water Bay Pier and the environmentally-friendly sightseeing ferries meanwhile will showcase the magnificent views of Hong Kong’s southern coastline to guests, while providing them with a convenient way to travel between the Waterfront and Tai Shue Wan. A new monorail ride will take guests from the Park entrance to the pier.

At the New Summit, the guest journey will take in five different themed zones, including Discovery Grove, Pacific Point, Ocean’s Edge, Adventure Valley and Explorer’s Wharf – these will all boast their own signature thrill rides, adventure experiences and edutainment opportunities.  

Discovery Grove, the key highlight of the New Summit, is an all-weather zone for all day and all year family fun with a wide range of facilities designed to provide unique experiences for all family members. This includes a new indoor roller coaster equipped with the latest multimedia technology that will allow guests to experience the underwater world like never before as they speed along its tracks.

Pacific Point will be a foodies paradise, providing delicious food and drink from a unique cliffside restaurant that will give unrivaled sea views of Hong Kong Island’s spectacular southside.

Featuring two spectacular self-controlled thriller coasters built into the unique hills and topography of the Park, the highlights of the Ocean’s Edge zone will see guests enjoy these unique rides as they control their own speed, and navigate tricky twists and turns, with the more courageous being able to throw caution to the wind and ramp up their pace if they dare.

The Adventure Valley zone will delight guests with a car racing experience on the Park’s slope. Family members and friends can either choose to go at their own group pace, or challenge each other and go head-to-head as they look to see who reaches the bottom first.

As part of the Park’s new blueprint, Ocean Theatre will be converted into a new multi-purpose performance venue. The marine mammals, including dolphins, will be moved to a new exhibit at Explorer’s Wharf, which provides a multi-species environment tailor-made for marine mammals, and underwater viewing opportunities.

Forging ahead with animal ambassadors

Since its opening in 1977, Ocean Park has gradually developed into a regional conservation hub with international recognition of the Park’s stringent animal care standards, veterinary expertise and best practices in animal husbandry.

“Marine animals in the Park’s care play a vital role in the Park’s conservation and education mission. Over many years our marine mammal ambassadors, especially the dolphins, have helped people learn about their species and habitats,” said Kung. “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 programs themed around marine conservation.” 

The proposed strategic repositioning plan will increase the number of attractions at Ocean Park by some 25% to more than 100. Along with two hotels (Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel and The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong) and a water park, Ocean Park expects to further its transformation into a world-class resort destination by uplifting its scale, uniqueness and the quality of guest experience.

Submit news to: [email protected]

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

Related Articles

Latest Articles