HONG KONG: Iconic Hong Kong theme park Ocean Park announced an entrance fee hike after recording its first deficit since 2003, local media reported on Wednesday (Dec 7).
The park recorded a deficit of HK$241.1 million (S$44.2 million), its largest since 1987 according to the South China Morning Post. It announced that entrance fees would be raised to HK$438 for adults and HK$219 for children from Jan 1 next year, a 13.8 per cent increase.
“The 2015/2016 fiscal year has been challenging for both the tourism and retail sectors in Hong Kong, and Ocean Park has not been immune,” Ocean Park chairperson Leo Kung told the South China Morning Post.
He blamed a drop in tourism to Hong Kong and slowing economic growth in mainland China. In Ocean Park's Annual Report for 2015-2016, Kung said that the drop in tourist arrivals to Hong Kong resulted in an 18.8 per cent drop in attendance to six million guests.
“The number of inbound tourists to Hong Kong has dropped due to a combination of factors," said Kung to the South China Morning Post. "These include intensified competition from other regional destinations, the strengthening Hong Kong dollar against the renminbi and other currencies, and slowing economic growth in China, which has affected mainland visitor flows to the city.”
He added that there would be no redundancies or pay cuts to full-time staff.
The park will launch a new entertainment and dining area at the entrance to woo visitors, Ocean Park executive director of sales and marketing Vivian Lee told the South China Morning Post. She added that the park would boost efforts to attract regional visitors from markets such as South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan.