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Old October 29th, 2012, 09:25 AM   #101
hkskyline
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Polar express
The Standard
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hong Kong children don't often get a chance to see a snowy owl, king penguin or Pacific walrus. But when they do, they inevitably fall in love and start worrying about the fate of their new friends. This is the kind of thinking the new education programs rolled out by Ocean Park Academy hope to spark. In July, Polar Adventure, the SAR's first attraction with Arctic and Antarctic animals opened to visitors at the theme park.

Spanning more than 150,000 square feet and housing 100 polar animals, the park's newest attraction bears a mission of raising awareness of the impact of global climate change on polar wildlife and habitats.

The impact of global climate change is becoming increasingly urgent. The National Snow and Ice Data Center, a US research institution, reported last month that the extent of Arctic sea ice shrank to 409,188 square kilometers this summer, from 416,958 sq km in 2007.

The seas in the North Pole region are mostly topped with ice. In the winter, the frozen saltwater surface usually extends about 15.54 million sq km, shrinking in summer and growing back in the fall.

"By itself, it's just a number and occasionally records are going to get set," said NSIDC scientist Walt Meier. "But in the context of what's happened in the last several years and throughout the satellite record, it's an indication that the Arctic sea ice cover is fundamentally changing."

Alex Wong Wai-tung, education manager at Ocean Park Academy, and his colleagues are very pas
sionate about the new program.

They expect to introduce and reinforce the concept of climate change to students. "We design the curriculum so that kids can have fun learning, gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between humans and nature," Wong said.

The Polar Adventure education programs comprise three parts, catering to children of different age groups.

North Pole Buddies is designed for kindergarten children aged three to five. It focuses on teaching observation skills, such as asking children to describe the special features of polar animals. Also, through simple and lively teaching methods including puzzle games and storytelling, preschool children will gain a basic understanding of nature.

The program, including classroom activities and site visit, costs HK$50 per student.

South Pole Summit is tailor-made for Primary One to Three students aged six to eight. Through this program, students can discover via computer animation how polar birds are influenced by climate change.

The critical part is to teach them practical tips on low-carbon living, such as which kind of lightbulb to choose, and how to use electricity smartly. The program costs HK$60 per student.

Polar Voyage leads Secondary One to Three students, aged 12 to 14, on an exploration to discover how polar animals adapt to harsh conditions.

In group games, these students will assume different roles - such as explorers, researchers, polar residents and resource company management - to exchange ideas on climate change. It helps students prepare for the liberal studies session of the new senior secondary curriculum.

This program costs HK$80 per student. The academy is taking applications now until the end of August next year.

Perry Chiu Bit-sing, a Primary Six pupil from St Joseph's Primary School, said: "I feel sad for these polar animals, which have a smaller and smaller place to live in because the ice is melting. I think human beings should seriously think about the issue.

"We should use less electricity and develop new energy sources, such as wind and solar power instead of exploiting petrol and natural gas."

Applying what he learned from the program, Perry said he would share the knowledge of climate change with his classmates and turn off the air- conditioner when the temperature is below 28 degrees Celsius.

"I wish I could visit the North Pole one day," Perry said. "Think about the Arctic fox, the pure white animal is so amazing. I want to see for myself what its living conditions are like."

Website: opahk.oceanpark.com.hk
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Old November 6th, 2012, 05:15 AM   #102
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Carbon cuts spell cleaner fun at park
The Standard
Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Ocean Park hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 10percent in 10 years in a HK$50 million program.

By doing so it aims to become the world's first low-carbon emissions theme park.

It expects the number of visitors to increase to eight million in 2022 from seven million this year.

The target was set with the help of Carbon Care Asia, a green group that helps the park conduct carbon audits to verify effectiveness and progress.

Carbon emissions at the park this year are expected to reach 56,906 tonnes. They are forecast to be less than 51,000 tonnes in 2022.

"As a responsible corporation, Ocean Park is committed to contributing positively to carbon reduction and a low- carbon visiting experience," deputy chief executive Matthias Li Sing-chung said yesterday.

Li said that instead of using carbon-reduction intensity as adopted by most local firms, the park has decided to take a further step by reducing emissions in terms of per capita.

This is to divide annual absolute carbon emissions by total visitors instead of by revenue.

"Using revenue is impractical as the reduction intensity can be easily achieved simply by raising the park's admission fee. We don't want to fool the public, we really want to do something for the environment and for our next generation," Li said.

"We found about 80percent of carbon emissions in the park are related to electricity consumption, mainly to maintain an ideal environment for the creatures who live there," engineering executive director George Tso Chi-keung said.

Measures include a series of upgrades on the life support system for animals including adopting highly efficient water-cooled chillers and refrigerants to reduce energy loss.

The environment will be controlled by computer monitoring of the exchange of water, the inflow of fresh air and water flow rates.

Also, pipes drawing seawater for tanks will be re-routed to shorten the length of the journey, thereby creating a more efficient circulation system.

By adopting solar-powered electric carts for transportation inside the park, energy usage will also be reduced by 40percent.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:03 PM   #103
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05-11-2012
Ocean Park Sets New Industry Standards in Carbon Management
Energy Consumption Reduction to Produce HK$70 Million in Utility Savings over Next Ten Years

Highly Energy-efficient Life Support System for Animals and Solar-powered Carts among Measures Being Implemented to Help Reach 10% Absolute Carbon Reduction Target
http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/...ess.php?id=582

Key Excerpts :

Ocean Park thus has developed various carbon reduction measures, including a new, highly energy-efficient LSS currently being built. Mr. George Tso, Ocean Park’s Executive Director of Engineering, explained, “A series of upgrades on the Life Support System for animals in Ocean Park will be implemented in the next 10 years, including switching to highly efficient water-cooled chillers, using low-GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerant, as well as strengthening insulation to reduce energy loss. We will also enhance control of our animals’ environment with real-time computer monitoring to adjust the exchange of water, the inflow of fresh air, and water flow rates. These will enable us to provide energy-efficient living environments for our animals. Moreover, we will re-route some pipes to shorten the pipe route to draw seawater, thereby creating a more energy-efficient water circulation system. We have also installed solar panels on 24 staff vehicles used to transport materials within the Park, with the plan to introduce more solar-powered vehicles in the near future. This adoption of solar energy is expected to reduce energy usage by 30%
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #104
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By 陆文龙 from a Chinese photography forum :





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Old January 9th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #105
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Ocean Park hopeful of hooking hotel backer
The Standard
Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Ocean Park is optimistic it will attract greater interest from companies in developing its first hotel this time around after changing tender terms.

The proposed four-star Ocean Hotel is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016, instead of 2015 as originally planned.

Park officials did not say when the tender for a second facility, the Fisherman's Wharf Hotel at Tai Shue Wan will be floated.

The 495-room Ocean Hotel will be built on a 17,044-square-meter site in front of the main entrance at Aberdeen.

The tender exercise will close on April 8, and the contract with the winning bidder is expected to be signed in the fourth quarter.

All submissions will initially be assessed and rated on their technical merit, with 65percent on design excellence and 35percent on the financial strength and hotel management credentials of the tenderers.

"The first time did not go well because the bids we received were not up to our expectations - both technically and financially," an Ocean Park spokeswoman said.

Under a build-operate-transfer model, the winning bidder will be selected from a short list of companies that have passed the technical proposal assessment and offer the highest land premium. The government has not set a minimum premium.

The tenderer will also have to provide a fixed 1.75 percent of gross receipts to Ocean Park, and will finally hand over the hotel to the park authorities in 2047.

Park chairman Allan Zeman said the new hotel will enhance the position of Southern District as a new base for travelers. "The proposed design of the hotel must be compatible with Ocean Park's mission to provide guests with memorable experiences combining conservation, education and entertainment values, as well as its vision to connect people with nature," Zeman said.

The theme park saw attendance grow to 7.1 million at the end of June, up from 6.4 million the previous fiscal year, ending June 2011. It expects attendances to grow by 5 to 10 percent this year.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #106
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Ocean Park to Become a Comprehensive International Resort Destination
Boosted by Development of Ocean Hotel


Hotel Targeted for 2016 Completion to Complement the Recently Completed
Master Redevelopment Plan and Additional New Attractions Opening from 2014
Hotel Project Alone Expected to Create 3,500 New Employment Positions


Press Release
(8 January 2013, Hong Kong) Ocean Park today announced news of further expansion with the issuance of a tender invitation to develop a hotel targeted for completion in the third quarter of 2016. With the completion of the Master Redevelopment Plan and the planned opening of a number of new world-class attractions from 2014, one day is not enough to experience all that the Park has to offer. The planned hotel will thus provide convenient accommodations for guests spending multiple days at Ocean Park, and transform Hong Kong People’s Park into a premier international resort destination. The hotel project, now featuring terms that are more in line with market expectations, is expected to create 3,500 new employment positions during the construction phase and, upon completion, approximately 500 permanent hospitality positions.

The 495-room “Ocean Hotel” will be built on a 17,044 square-metre site in front of Ocean Park’s main entrance. Tender submissions will be accepted until 8 April 2013, and the contract with the successful tenderer is expected to be signed during the fourth quarter of 2013. Tender submissions will first be assessed and scored on their respective Technical Proposals, with design excellence receiving a weighting of 65%, whilst financial strength of the proponent and hotel management credentials are assigned a 35% weighting. Submissions that exceed the passing score under the Technical Proposal assessment will be ranked in order of the land premium offered in their respective Financial Proposal, with the tenderer proposing the highest amount to be selected as the Most Preferred Proponent. The Most Preferred Proponent will be appointed as the successful tenderer once they are able to satisfy the statutory process and requirements, e.g. Planning Approval Conditions; acceptance of lease modification conditions; payment of land premium, etc.

Ocean Park expects the tender exercise will attract feasible and sustainable development proposals as the Government will accept the premium offered by the Most Preferred Proponent.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “Having been recognised as a world-leading theme park with our recent Applause Award accolade, we are now ready to transform Ocean Park into a premier international resort destination and further fulfil our role as a major pillar of Hong Kong’s tourism industry. With the completion of the MTR South Island Line in 2015, the new hotel will also enhance Southern District’s position as a new base for travellers. The proposed design of the hotel must be compatible with Ocean Park’s mission to provide guests with memorable experiences combining conservation, education and entertainment values, as well as its vision to connect people with nature. We are grateful to the Hong Kong Government for working closely with us to come up with an appealing project, which will enhance destination tourism, and reinforce our contribution to local employment opportunities in both the construction and hospitality sectors.”

Dr. Zeman concluded, “Further to the completion of our Master Redevelopment Plan, which expanded the Park significantly, Ocean Park will be unveiling a number of world-class attractions beginning in 2014. A new shark aquarium, created from the former Atoll Reef, will open in the third quarter of 2014. This will be followed by the opening of the much-anticipated koala exhibit in the fourth quarter of 2014. More exciting still is the on-going planning work for the redevelopment of the now-closed Tai Shue Wan area into a water park. We look forward to sharing each exciting milestone with the people of Hong Kong and visitors from all over the world alike. ”
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Old February 16th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #107
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RECORD CROWDS THRONG TO PARKS
The Standard
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thousands of residents and tourists had their holidays ruined when Ocean Park suspended the sale of tickets for the second successive day because of excessive crowds.

The two-day shutout at the popular theme park sparked renewed calls yesterday for more tourism attractions and infrastructure to meet an increasing number of visitors.

Crowd management measures were implemented to control admissions to the park, though those celebrating their birthdays, senior citizens aged 65 and over who enjoy free entry, and annual pass holders were not affected.

A spokeswoman said the number of visitors on Tuesday surpassed the 2011 daily record of 48,000.

She added that when guests reach 28,000 to 32,000, the park usually makes an announcement persuading visitors to return another day.

"Our regulation is that not more than 36,600 can appear in the park at the same time,'' she said.

Visitors to Disneyland also complained that they spent a long time in queues to get rides.

A spokeswoman said Disneyland recorded its highest number of visitors for a single day on Tuesday, while yesterday's crowd was the second highest. She did not mention the figures.

The tourism sector has called for an increase in the number of attractions and has opposed limiting the number of visitors through administrative measures.

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said it is time to review Hong Kong's ability to receive visitors and agreed on suggestions to develop more attractions in districts such as the islands.

Yiu also suggested reviewing the maximum attendance at Ocean Park and Disneyland.

"In the short term we can improve the notifi dhcation system by making announcements at border crossings so that visitors can adjust their itineraries,'' he said. "In the long term, there should be more attractions in order to disperse the visitors. For example, we can improve facilities in the islands to attract visitors.

"Building a Shaolin monastery in Sai Kung, which has been reported, is also a good idea.''

Yiu opposed limiting the number of visitors with administrative measures, saying this will have a prolonged impact on the economy.

"Once you stop visitors from coming, it will be hard to get them back.''

Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung welcomed the construction of more attractions but said this will take time.

A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board said it has not received complaints about overcrowding at attractions.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 08:00 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
By 陆文龙 from a Chinese photography forum :





Great update keep the work
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Old February 28th, 2013, 04:55 PM   #109
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Rise of new marvels at parks
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, February 28, 2013





*****************************

Ocean Park, meanwhile, will receive a HK$2.3 billion loan from the government to build a new, all-weather Water World.

The feature will enhance park facilities, which last year won the industry's prestigious Applause Award, the first Asian attraction to be recognized as the best theme park in the world.

Sources said the loan will "spur early commencement of the project," and will be repaid over 20 years with an interest of 5percent.

Construction will begin by the end of this year or early next, with the attraction expected to open in 2017.

Unlike the former Water World, which had only man-made outdoor facilities and was closed in 1999, the new, much larger version will feature rides and combine a pool with a natural beach.

Whether visitors will need a separate ticket to enter has not yet been decided.

The funding proposal will be submitted to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in the next few months.

A spokeswoman said the park is delighted to receive support from the government.

"The all-weather water park will be able to accommodate a maximum of 15,000 visitors a day," she said.

She added the project will create 2,900 jobs and generate HK$842 million in tourism growth by 2018.

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said both theme parks are in need of new attractions to draw new customers.

But he is concerned as to whether the 27-hectare Disneyland, one of the smallest in the world, can stand the competition from Shanghai's Disneyland, which will open in 2015.

"What the park needs in the long term is a large money injection for large-scale development," Yiu added. "It has to be done between the government in Hong Kong and Walt Disney in the United States."
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Old June 11th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #110
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Park a splash hit as more visit
The Standard
Friday, May 31, 2013

Ocean Park will chalk up an annual attendance record after beating last year's 7.1 million visitors about a month before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Chairman Allan Zeman said that last August alone, one million people visited the Aberdeen theme park, a monthly record in its 36-year history.

The number of visitors from South Korea, the Philippines, India, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia has increased by 60percent over the past five years.

Mainlanders are still the top source of visitors at 50 percent, while locals make up 30percent. The number of Indian tourists is growing fast, making up 18percent of overseas visitors.

The park gave a 10-year VIP pass to a Taiwanese family who provided the 7.1 millionth visitor. Wendy Chang, who came to Hong Kong with her husband and daughters, aged six and 2 years, said it was the elder girl's kindergarten trip and the family was lucky to win.

In a ceremony yesterday, Zeman appeared with a replica of the famous giant Rubber Duck from Victoria Harbour.

Zeman hopes the next annual attendance record will be 7.4 million.

"In addition to the recent opening of many new attractions, a number of world-class attractions will be launched starting from 2014," he said.

"They include the new Shark Mystique and Adventures in Australia featuring eight koalas and more, which will be opened in mid-2014 and the fourth quarter of 2014 respectively."

Shark Mystique will be five times bigger than the old facility with 100 sharks representing 15 species.

After the Legislative Council approved a loan of HK$2.29 billion, Ocean Park will develop a new water world scheduled for opening in 2017.

The attraction will have 25 features, including 13 giant water slides and two wave pools.

It will also have the world's longest lazy river, a large LED backdrop and a performance stage in a water park.

Construction will run from early 2015 to mid-2017.
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Old October 12th, 2013, 06:51 PM   #111
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Tourism chief's firm to build Ocean Park hotel
Development company owned by Peter Lam, also a tycoon and government ally, generates conflict-of-interest talk with its winning bid
11 October 2013
South China Morning Post



A property development company owned by government ally and Tourism Board chairman Dr Peter Lam Kin-ngok has won a tender for a HK$4.1 billion project to build a long-awaited hotel at Ocean Park.

Capital Court is said to have beaten six other bids received in the January exercise, but its appointment raised concerns over a possible conflict of interest.

Ocean Park said Capital Court, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lai Sun Development, was found to be the "most preferred proponent" for the project after a six-month study of the bids.

The theme park's chief executive Tom Mehrmann sought yesterday to dispel the concerns.

"Lai Sun was selected because it has achieved and exceeded the passing scores under the technical evaluations on design excellence, financial strength and management credentials, and has proposed the highest premium amount out of all the tender submissions," Mehrmann said.

Lai Sun teamed up with Marriott International in the bidding. Lai Sun offered about HK$1.6 billion in land premium.

The construction cost is estimated at HK$2.5 billion.

The 495-room hotel will sit on a 1.7-hectare site at the park's main entrance in Aberdeen. It will be operated by Marriott.

Ocean Park is to seek final approval for the development from the Town Planning Board.

The project is expected to break ground in the first half of next year and is due to open by early 2017 - some four years behind the original schedule as it should have opened this year.

The plans lapsed in 2011 because of a lack of interest from developers, which were reportedly discouraged by the high land premium sought by the government. A revised tender in January eased some of the requirements and attracted seven bids.

Lai Sun Development falls under the Lai Sun Group, which Lam chairs. The pro-government tycoon is known to be a fan of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. He was appointed early this year to chair the Tourism Board, and this week he was named to a new government advisory committee on trade co-operation with the mainland. Lam also sits on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Another of his subsidiaries, Lai Fung, faced a public outcry in June for demolishing two historic buildings in Guangzhou, one of which was the home of late "King of Cantonese opera" Sit Kok-sin.

Tourism-sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing warned of a possible conflict of interest. "The details of the winning bid and the tender screening mechanism should be revealed to the public and the bidders who lost," Yiu said.

Ocean Park said: "During the tender process, declarations of interest were made by all relevant board members of Ocean Park. Those board members with any interest in any of the parties submitting tenders did not take part in any deliberation, assessment or scoring of the tenders, while the [Independent Commission Against Corruption] was engaged to provide input on and review the tender procedures and observe the scoring process."

Lai Sun Development deputy chairman Chew Fook-aun said: "We joined the tender … as we planned to increase our leasing portfolio." He said Lam knew the company was planning to bid, but did not take part in any meeting on the project led by Chew.

The Tourism Board said it was not involved in the tender and that the project was a private business under Lam's group.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #112
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Renderings and site photos of the future Ocean Park MTR station :

海洋公園港鐵站勁玩波浪feel
2013年12月10日 (二)












港鐵南港島線(東段)預計於二○一五年下半年通車,當中的海洋公園站昨日平頂,車站外牆將以不同深淺度的藍色玻璃為主要飾面,且呈波浪形,配合海洋的設計主題。新線通車後,市民由金鐘站往海洋公園站只需四分鐘,比起乘搭巴士快約二十一分鐘。海洋公園預料,屆時公園入場人次將額外增長一成至一成半。

港鐵南港島線(東段)項目經理黃健維昨表示,海洋公園站位於海洋公園以北,共有三個出入口,其中一個出入口將以行人天橋連接公園正門。

車廂擬融入南區特色
車站採用側式月台,即路軌置於中間,左右兩邊是候車月台,月台長七十米,較市區線一般長一百八十米的月台為短;而月台頂部則是半開放式,可引入自然光。

黃健維又指,港鐵正研究將南區的社區特色融入列車的內籠設計,並指該線的國產列車會依程序進行安全測試,「我哋有人派駐內地監督同測試」,預料首架列車將於明年抵港。

全長約七公里的港鐵南港島線(東段)整體工程已完成約五成,共設金鐘、海洋公園、黃竹坑、利東及海怡半島五個車站。新線屬於中型鐵路系統,以三卡列車行走,繁忙時間約三分鐘一班,最高載客量可達每小時二萬人次(單向計算)。海洋公園主席盛智文表示,去年公園全年入場人次達七百六十萬,預料新線通車後可額外增長一成至一成半,並有助紓緩香港仔隧道擠塞。他又說,海洋公園明年會招標興建第二間酒店。
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Old January 26th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #113
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Koala bears and hotels beckon at Ocean Park
The Standard
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ocean Park will add 30 attractions in its latest round of development projects, with additional staff of 1,100 by 2017.

The theme park in Aberdeen will also have a full wi-fi service next year, which will allow visitors to use its mobile app to check attractions, waiting times and background information on animals.

New attractions this year will be a 7,000-square- foot koala museum to open in December and a 20,000-sq-ft shark aquarium in July.

The park has planted 400 eucalyptus trees for the eight koalas from South Australia, which will arrive in batches, said sales and marketing executive director Vivian Lee Fung-ling. Three kangaroos and birds such as the kookaburra will also be imported.

Among the 30 attractions will be a 400,000-sq- ft Water World, set to open in 2017.

Executive director of design and planning Celine Cheung Wing-yee said Water World is built along the mountain to reduce harm to the environment.

The four-star, 495-room Ocean Hotel will be opened in 2017. Ocean Park will spend HK$2.5 billion on the hotel project, and another HK$1.6 billion on land premium. A four-star Fisherman's Wharf hotel and five-star spa hotel are also planned.

About 7.5 million visitors went to the park last year. The new attractions are expected to help boost visitor numbers to eight million.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:48 PM   #114
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Lai Sun eyes hotels amid rise in visitors
5 March 2014
South China Morning Post

Years after it demolished two five-star hotels it owned in Central to make way for office projects, midsize developer Lai Sun Development is looking to re-enter the hospitality industry in Hong Kong.

The firm will enter the bidding to build a hotel on Lantau Island. The Airport Authority of Hong Kong invited expressions of interest from developers to build a 1,200-room hotel of at least a three-star grade on part of the SkyCity car park near the AsiaWorld-Expo.

The tendering to build the hotel closes on March 31.

“We see demand for hotel rooms far outstripping supply, as the city has only about 60,000 rooms,” Lai Sun deputy chairman Chew Fook Aun said.

The government recently predicted 70 million tourists would visit the city per year by 2017.

In October, Lai Sun, chaired by Peter Lam Kin-ngok, who is also chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, said it would invest HK$4.1 billion to build a 495-room resort hotel in Ocean Park. It beat six firms to win the tender.

The Ocean Park hotel, with a total gross floor area of 366,000 square feet, will be managed by Marriott International and is slated to open by early 2017.


It will be Lai Sun’s first hotel in Hong Kong since it demolished the 28-year-old, 517-room Furama Hotel in 2001. The grade A offices of AIA Central now occupy that site.

In 2008, Lai Sun tore down the 216-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel, adjacent to the Furama, to make way for the development of the CCB Tower. The firm has a 10 per cent stake in AIA Central and a 50 per cent share of CCB Tower.

Lai Sun owns 95 per cent of the Starr Hotel in Shanghai and a 26 per cent stake in the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Chew said Lai Sun was expanding its holdings to increase its rental income.

With the opening of its commercial-retail project in Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui – a 50-50 joint venture with Henderson Land Development – and its Ocean Park hotel, the company’s investment portfolio will expand 31 per cent to 1.84 million sq ft in 2017, according to Chew.

On the mainland, Lai Sun’s investment portfolio would increase to 5.61 million sq ft by 2019, up 128 per cent from 2.45 million sq ft at present, Chew said. Its mainland property development subsidiary, Lai Fung, and a unit of eSun will develop a 2.8 million sq ft “creative culture city” in Hengqin, the special economic zone off Zhuhai.

At the end of 2012, Lai Sun joined ousted Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung in buying a residential site in Tseung Kwan O for HK$2.86 billion, or HK$4,929 per sq ft.

“Taking into account construction costs, the total cost will be HK$8,000 per sq ft. Current transaction prices are more than HK$10,000 per sq ft in Tseung Kwan O. Our flats will enjoy a full sea view. The land price is okay,” he said.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 08:23 AM   #115
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HK gov't to ensure sufficient capacity to receive tourists

HONG KONG, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang said Wednesday that the government should strive to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to receive visitors.

Speaking in his budget speech, the city's financial chief said "In order to attract high-spending visitors to Hong Kong, thus bring about more economic benefits from tourism, we should continue to upgrade our tourist facilities, host attractive mega events and maintain an adequate supply of high-end hotel accommodation."

On tourist facilities, the construction of the waterpark in the Hong Kong Ocean Park and the "Iron Man Experience" in the Hong Kong Disneyland has commenced by phases. Cruise liners and passengers found the terminal building and the first berth of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which came into operation last June, satisfactory. The second berth is planned to be commissioned this year, Tsang said.

As for hotels, the government is pressing ahead with the infrastructure works at the southern end of the runway and south apron of the former Kai Tak Airport.

"We are identifying feasible ways for the gradual release of the six sites facing Victoria Harbor within the 'hotel belt' adjacent to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to the market starting from the end of next year," he said.

Tsang also suggested the allocation of an additional 45 million HK dollars (about 5.8 million U.S. dollars) for the Hong Kong Tourism Board to provide more attractive and targeted services and concessions for organizers and participants of conventions and exhibitions of various scales and types in the coming three years. Meanwhile, the government is studying the demand for convention and exhibition facilities in Hong Kong in the next 15 years.

Tourism has been making immense contribution to Hong Kong's economy. In 2013, visitors to Hong Kong exceeded 50 million, an increase of 11.7 percent over 2012.

Total spending went up by 14. 8 percent to 340 billion HK dollars.(1 U.S. dollar = 7.76 HK dollars)
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:09 PM   #116
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Ocean Park makes a splash with water plan
22 May 2014
South China Morning Post

Attraction’s new water park will have a futuristic look when it opens in 2017

Ocean Park’s new water park is designed to blend in with the hillsides of Southern district with a futuristic, terraced look when it opens in 2017, a report to the government shows.

The design is meant to be in harmony with the park’s natural surroundings in Tai Shue Wan, the theme park says in an environmental assessment report submitted to the Environmental Protection Department.

The park, a statutory body under the government, is paying for the development with a HK$2.3 billion government loan, announced in last year’s budget.

Pools, water slides and other recreational facilities are built into terraces, with the bay stretching out in front, according to the plans.

“This scheme now takes good advantage of the existing slope conditions by locating ride platforms on or near the slopes to minimise the amount of structural support required,” the report says.

It says it is an improvement on an earlier plan that envisaged having a flat building shaped like a “clam shell” as the focal point.

The park’s former Water World attraction closed in 1999.

It expects the new attraction to accommodate up to 10,500 visitors a day.

The centrepiece will be two elliptical indoor pools with glass roofs rimmed by plants that will let sunlight in. More terraces will be built on the opposite slope, where the first level will house the entrance and ticketing office, an exhibition of sea turtles, changing rooms, restaurants and retail stores.

An outdoor wave pool, plunge pools for slides, an indoor surf rider and slides will be on level two.

The next floor will have an indoor wave pool, more indoor play structures, outdoor activity pools and spa pools.

The top level will feature water slides.

It will open from 9am to 11pm.

The new attraction is projected to boost the visitor capacity of Ocean Park, which received more than 7.7 million people – or a daily average of 21,095 – in the financial year that ended in June last year.

The park claims the water centre will entice tourists to stay an extra three-quarters of a day in the city.

“[It] is projected to contribute significantly to the local economy and drastically stimulate industry growth – it is estimated to create 2,900 jobs, as well as generate HK$842 million in tourism growth,” the report estimates.

The assessment report and artist’s impressions of the project are available on the department’s website.

The park is in the midst of an expansion boom. On Tuesday, it announced that it had chosen Lai Sun Development as its partner in the building of a 495-room Marriott hotel, which is also expected to open in 2017.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 03:33 PM   #117
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Zeman about town sails off from Ocean Park
21 June 2014
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong is home to many of Asia’s most powerful tycoons, but few, if any, have had as big an impact on the city’s development over the decades as Allan Zeman.

The Canadian-born entrepreneur was famous for turning Lan Kwai Fong into an icon for Hong Kong nightlife before he was parachuted into the government-owned Ocean Park in 2003. He took over as its chairman in the midst of the Sars-induced economic doldrums.

On June 30, Zeman will leave the post after an 11-year stint that has turned the theme park’s financial losses into healthy profits and seen off fears that the 37-year-old park would not survive Disney’s arrival in town in 2005. At one point, Zeman was referred to as “the mouse-killer”.

“There are so many unforgettable things I’ve done over the years,” Zeman told the South China Morning Post yesterday. “It is the joy of being able to bring happiness to Hong Kong and creating something that attracts worldwide attention.”

Zeman’s penchant for wearing ridiculous outfits to the park’s press conferences certainly helped garner attention. He’s been a giant jellyfish, a Chinese emperor and even a showgirl in high heels and fishnet stockings.

He moved to Hong Kong at the age of 19 and once described arriving in the city as like landing on the moon.

He started exporting clothing back to Canada but by 1983, Zeman had opened his first restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong.

Zeman said he bought California Tower and California Entertainment Building over 25 years ago for about HK$160 million. Today, they are worth about HK$5 billion. As his empire grew, he earned himself the nickname “Mr Lan Kwai Fong”.

Zeman has since exported the Lan Kwai Fong model, most notably to mainland China cities such as Chengdu , Sichuan province, where local authorities are eager to replicate his success.

Zeman admits to knowing little about the theme park industry when he was installed at the helm of Ocean Park. He oversaw a HK$5.5 billion makeover between 2006 and 2012 and it is now one of the 10 most visited theme parks in the world, consistently outperforming Disney locally.

His reputation for breaking the mould was further sealed in 2008 when, tired of being seen as a foreigner in Hong Kong, he opted to give up his Canadian passport for a Chinese one. He called it a testament to his faith in the Chinese system.

Zeman has served on the chief executive selection committee, as well as various other government committees, boards and advisory bodies across a wide range of issues.

Apart from a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for property development in Hong Kong and abroad, Zeman also has footings in films and TV, most notably as chairman of Los Angeles-based Sweetpea Entertainment.

There may be one deal he failed to pull off though. In 1993, he was one of the organisers behind a fruitless drive to have Michael Jackson kick off his Dangerous world tour in Hong Kong.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #118
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Take a wild ride
Recruitment at Ocean Park rocketing as new rides and attractions come online

28 June 2014
South China Morning Post

There has been no up-and-down roller-coaster ride in visitor numbers at Ocean Park since Tom Mehrmann took over as chief executive in 2004. Barring a pause for breath during the recent global financial crisis, the trend has been unerringly upwards.

In the year 2003-04, weighed down by the Sars epidemic, the still-fading effects of the previous century's Asian financial crisis and years of underinvestment, the park attracted 3.68 million customers. This has since soared to 7.7 million in Ocean Park's last full year of operation.

"This is growth of 109 per cent [across the 10-year period] and this hasn't happened in the industry before, especially for a mature product like ours," Mehrmann says.

To ensure there is no let-up in the increasing level of popularity, Ocean Park plans to add around 30 attractions and a projected 1,100 permanent staff positions by 2017.

The new Sharks Mystique attraction opened this month, featuring 100 sharks in the renovated Atoll reef exhibit, while Adventures in Australia is due to welcome its first visitors in December.

"The recruitment work for fairly specialised positions has already begun as we need to have life-support-systems people, engineering staff and animal-care professionals already on board," Mehrmann explains.

"Running a theme park requires everybody, from the line-level person who might be cleaning the streets, to the one who may be performing medical procedures on animals. We also have the traditional positions: marketing, accounting, finance of any sort, sales, food and beverage, and retail," he adds.

Key projects next in the pipeline are a new 400,000 square foot water park and the 495-room Ocean Hotel. Beyond the manpower needed in the construction phase, these two facilities will create significantly more new positions. "About 500 permanent staff will be in the hotel when it is up and running, and we will have about 500 to 600 staff in the new water park," Mehrmann says.

Ocean Park has obviously benefited from the overall rise in tourism to Hong Kong in recent years, but Mehrmann also points to the park's major capital investments and the reinvigoration of its spirit through a number of key major events as the reasons for its upturn in fortunes.

"We kept the best and we improved the rest," he explains. "We invested HK$5.55 billion in the property, in eight phases of development over the six years between 2006 and 2012. We changed what Ocean Park is, while not deviating from our core principles of education, conservation and entertainment. In fact, about 66 per cent of our total investment went into education and conservation."

Along with the upgrades to the "hardware", the park annually stages its "big five" seasonal events, including celebrations at Lunar New Year, Halloween and Christmas. "The idea is that we change the 'software' five times a year, so if you're coming back to the park it's always going to feel fresh and new," Mehrmann says.

"The MTR is coming to the property in 2015, and that's going to change the way guests arrive and depart, and may raise our attendance beyond the growth we're already seeing," he adds.

With its mix of rides and wildlife, and its status as a not-for-profit, government-owned tourist attraction that must pay its own way, Mehrmann sees Ocean Park as a unique industry hybrid. In 2012, it even collected the "Applause Award", presented every two years by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions to amusement parks that have inspired the industry.

"For me, the theme park industry is vibrant at the moment, and more so in Asia than anywhere else," Mehrmann says. "Even in times of austerity, people want the type of escape that parks offer."

Mehrmann views the presence of Disneyland on his patch as a good thing. "I think the goal has always been to make Hong Kong a better destination," he says. "So if you have two world-class facilities in the same destination, the guests are going to be prompted to go to both, and we have definitely seen that."
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Old April 24th, 2015, 01:28 PM   #119
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No hugs for cuddly koalas at Hong Kong's Ocean Park
24 March 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt





Three koalas from South Australia will greet visitors from Tuesday in their new habitat in Ocean Park - but hugs and noise are not allowed.

Although visitors can get as close as one metre to the marsupials - in an exhibit space modelled on the South Australian outback, with patches of eucalyptus trees - they are not allowed to touch or hug them.

The cuddly koalas, named Dougie, Merinda and Yani, will share their space with other Australian species including laughing kookaburras and red-necked wallabies.

Yani, meaning "peace" in Kaurna, a language used by a group of indigenous people in the Adelaide Plains of South Australia, was picked for one of the female koalas through an online campaign. The name was revealed yesterday.

Howard Chuk Hau-chung, senior curator of terrestrial life science at the park, said visitors are not allowed to hug the tree-clinging creatures because they are sensitive to disruptions such as noise and touch, which would affect their appetite.

He said the exhibit area would only allow 100 visitors at a time and there would be staff reminding visitors to be quiet and not run around the area or use flash photography.

"Koalas have a rather unpredictable eating schedule," said Chuk. "If they are disturbed at the time they plan to eat, they will skip the meal and go directly into sleeping."

He said the park had planted over 9,000 eucalyptus trees of five species in three places in Guangdong province to satisfy the koalas' appetites.

The South Australian government agreed to share eight koalas with Hong Kong, Chuk said, but there is no timetable on when the other five will arrive.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 01:16 PM   #120
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Water park will be ‘No1 in world’
6 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt


from Ocean Park

from Ocean Park






Zeman says Ocean Park’s new attraction will be late but worth the wait

Visitors to Ocean Park will not get to enjoy its new water attraction until the second half of 2018, but the delay from the original 2017 target will be “worth the wait” as it will feature the best Hong Kong deserves, the park says.

Water World is being paid for with a HK$2.3 billion government loan, and the park’s honorary adviser, Allan Zeman, said the adjusted schedule was unlikely to lead to a cost overrun.

“The water park originally was scheduled to be completed in 2017. But we all felt that, with water parks, there is so much new technology now,” Zeman said at a ceremony to launch the construction work yesterday.

“So we thought, let’s wait a little bit, a few more months and get the best we can for Hong Kong. Let’s make it No1 in the world. And so it’s worth the wait.”

Park chairman Leo Kung Lin-cheng added that the delay was due to changes to the design.

When the park comes on stream, visitors can expect 27 attractions built into a series of terraced platforms, designed in harmony with the natural surroundings of Tai Shue Wan.

The attractions will include a “surf rider” that lets people ride waves on surfboards. There will also be two large wave pools, one infinity pool, two resort-style cabana areas and nine water slides.

The park is expected to create 2,900 jobs and add HK$842 million to the city’s gross domestic product. It will be able to handle 10,500 visitors a day and cover more than 64,000 square metres – twice the size of the old water park that closed in 1999.
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