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Ocean Park Revamps

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$5.5b plan to revamp Ocean Park is unveiled
More animals and rides will bring in tourists and 'complement Disney'

Carrie Chan
19 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Ocean Park has unveiled plans for a $5.5 billion revamp, financed by private and government loans, to turn it into a world-class attraction.

Presenting the two-stage plan yesterday, chairman Allan Zeman said the park did not aim to compete with soon-to-open Disneyland but to complement it.

The proposal has been handed to Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, who heads a taskforce reviewing tourism development in southern Hong Kong, but the government has not said whether it will offer loans for the project.

Tourism Commissioner Eva Cheng Yu-wah said the government supported the plan in principle but there was no timeline on when a final decision would be made.

If the reconstruction goes ahead, work will start in 2006. The first stage would be due for completion in 2008 and the second in 2010, with the park staying open throughout. An extra 33 animal species would be brought in and the number of rides doubled to 70.

"We are not trying to 'outdo Disney' but rather complement it," Mr Zeman said yesterday. "It's a sea-world type park with animals; Disney doesn't have animals." The park is banking on an eventual rail link as part of the MTR Corp's proposed southern line. Mr Zeman said it could survive without the railway, but he advised the government to build the link.

Three new hotels providing 1,200 to 1,500 rooms, are not included in the $5.5 billion and outside partners will be sought for these. It is estimated that about 17,700 construction jobs would be created by the work.

The park's operators say the project would boost annual visitor numbers from last year's 4.3 million to 5 million by 2010 and kick-start the government's plan to transform the nearby Aberdeen area into a Fishermen's Wharf attraction.

They say the park would bring economic benefits of $145 billion over 40 years and make a 0.5 per cent contribution to gross domestic product.

Half the visitors are expected to be from the mainland, 40 per cent local and the rest from overseas.

Mr Zeman said the rate of return should be 16 per cent, based on the assumption of raised admission fees. Although the fees would be increased they would be less than Disney's for at least five years.

Ocean Park's current admission fee for an adult is $185. Disney's will be $295 per head on weekdays and $350 on special days.

Mr Zeman said there might be a drop in attendance initially after Disney's September opening but he was confident about the park's future "with all the tourists coming from China". He said it was too early to discuss collaboration with Disneyland.

Although it was former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa who had persuaded him to try to save the park two years ago, Mr Zeman said he did not think Mr Tung's sudden departure would affect the plan.

"There has been a good response from [acting Chief Executive] Donald [Tsang Yam-kuen] and Henry [Tang]," he said.

A Hong Kong Disneyland spokeswoman said Disney did not see more intense competition from the revamped Ocean Park. The two parks would bring more family tourists to Hong Kong.


IT’S TIME… The New Ocean Park to be the World’s Best Marine-Based Theme Park
18 March 2005 Press Release

The Waterfront, The Summit, Aqua City, Birds of Paradise, Whiskers Harbour, Marine World, The Rainforest, Thrill Mountain, Polar Adventure, Polar Bears, Penguins, Killer Whales. Sharks, Sea lions, Walruses, Manta Rays, Snow, Bobsled Roller Coasters, Aquariums, Under Water Restaurant, 3d/4d Simulator, Resort Hotels, Cable Car, High-speed train, Treehouse Village, Thrill Rides….

…..Twice as many attractions by 2010! Expecting more than 37,000(1) new jobs and 0.5%(1) contribution to the GDP

(Hong Kong, March 18, 2005) Ocean Park today announced a redevelopment master plan* to redevelop the park into the world’s best marine-based theme park, doubling the amount of attractions and firmly establishing itself as a world-class, must-see destination that will further strengthen Hong Kong as a premier tourist destination.

Ocean Park is a home grown and valuable asset of Hong Kong with a rich 28-year heritage of providing education, lessons in conservation and entertainment for a staggering 70 million visitors and is beloved by Hong Kong residents and international visitors alike.

The estimated HKD 5.55 billion(2) redevelopment which is targeted to commence in 2006 and be completed in 2010 will transform the existing park into a spectacular, marine-based theme park with an amazing 33 new species of animals, connecting people with nature and offering a plethora of breathtaking attractions unparalleled anywhere else in the world. An expected above 5 million visitors per year by 2010(1) will be able to access the park via various transport options including the proposed MTR South Island Line.

“For the past 28 years, Ocean Park has delighted, stimulated and created enormous joy for its millions of visitors from around the world. We are proud to announce the next stage in the park’s development that will see it grow into a landmark destination, becoming the pride of Hong Kong as one of the top theme parks in the world,” said Allan Zeman, Chairman, Ocean Park.

The new Ocean Park will be divided into two major areas - The Waterfront, formerly the Lowland and The Summit, formerly the Headland - featuring more than 70 distinctive attractions.

The Waterfront will be divided into three themed zones: Aqua City, which will house the spectacular new Ocean Park Grand Aquarium complex; Birds of Paradise, a lush tropical haven for a wide variety of avian wonders; and Whiskers Harbour, a playful port of call for families where Ocean Park’s signature characters will welcome guests.

Towering 150 meters above sea level, The Summit will offer breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s southern shores, Aberdeen and neighboring islands. Terraced levels sculptured into the hillside will showcase animals and entertainment from four different global climate zones: Marine World, the Rainforest, Thrill Mountain and Polar Adventure.

Not-to-be missed natural attractions within the new Ocean Park will include the Killer Whale Stadium, an enormous, seashell-shaped air conditioned building with 5000 seats where visitors can view a dramatic Killer Whale show; the Penguin Glacier where penguins slip and slide to the delight of visitors; Polar Bear Cove, the home of enormous and adorable polar bears; Swim with Dolphins where visitors can don wetsuits and come nose-to-nose with the friendly mammals; and Shark Encounter in Aqua City where visitors can enter a protective cage to watch sharks being fed.

Visitors will be dazzled by 12 new animal and entertainment shows including the live-action Typhoon Stunt Show in the Rainforest area that combines the best of Hong Kong movie making, Wushu martial art stunt fighting and Hollywood special effects, and tremble at the exhilaration of Everest, the ultimate rollercoaster found at Thrill Mountain.

Ocean Park’s signature mode of transport, the stunning cable car, will be rebuilt and visitors will also have the option of riding the Summit Express, a funicular train that will whisk visitors through a tunnel at high speed to The Summit, or back to The Waterfront in a matter of minutes.

The new Ocean Park will be developed in phases, allowing for the park to be kept open during the redevelopment period with animals and their habitats kept to a high standard and new entertainment and animal programs continually introduced. The redevelopment is expected to create 37,100 jobs by 2022(1) and the completed park will contribute 0.5% to Hong Kong’s overall GDP by 2010(1).

The Ocean Park redevelopment master plan also includes a proposal for the development of three hotels to neighbour the park. The hotel development is not essential in driving the new Ocean Park, but will add additional appeal to the overall proposal and will be key to boosting the area as a premier tourist destination.

“We believe the new Ocean Park will not only provide nature, conservation and education, but it will also be a catalyst for the development of the Aberdeen Tourism Project, kick starting an exciting revival of the south side of the island,” commented Zeman.

Ocean Park is a not-for-profit organization, 100 percent wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government and is expected to remain so under the new proposal. The Ocean Park redevelopment should not require any Government subsidies or grants but is expected to be funded by a combination of government and commercial loans.

Note: *The redevelopment master plan is a conceptual plan only and includes details and specifics known at this time. The details and specifics may contain estimates and may be subject to change.

(1) All economic and financial projections have been provided by Economic Research Associates based on its independent research effort, its general knowledge of the industry and consultations with Ocean Park, as well as information provided by Professional Property Services Limited and MTR Corporation

(2) The estimated costs are based on a costing exercise undertaken by Ocean Park’s consultants following appropriate consultations with Ocean Park.

About Ocean Park

Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique homegrown theme park. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organisation, Ocean Park has built itself to be a world-class attraction. Over 60 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park offers adults and children entertainment blended with education and conservation facilities
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In the words of Ocean Park chairman Allan Zeman, "It's time to rebuild the park!''

With that, the energetic Zeman, architect of Lan Kwai Fong's rise to the top of the entertainment heap and the government's hand-picked man for the job, outlined an ambitious plan Friday to rebuild venerable Ocean Park to meet the challenge posed by the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in Lantau later this year.

The goal is to create what executives call a "world-class, must-see, marine-based'' destination that will have polar bears and penguins, a palace made of ice, and baby pandas to amuse the public.

Under the HK$5.5 billion, five-year redevelopment plan, the 43.7-hectare park will be almost completely rebuilt.

The number of attractions will be doubled and will include an underwater restaurant, daily kung fu stunt shows adorned with Hollywood special effects, and a high-speed train to connect low-lying areas with mountain peaks inside the park.

``With Disney, we have to go world-class or we will fail,'' said Zeman as the plan was unveiled.

Zeman was brought in by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa to reinvent the park, although he had never set foot in the attraction.

He took the job, he said, after seeing the potential and he now believes Ocean Park can become a major landmark for Hong Kong again. ``This is a plan I would put my name on,'' he said.

The government is also being urged to authorize the building of three hotels next to the park to go with a long-debated extension of the MTR for an Island South line that would deliver customers to the park's front door.

For all of this to become a reality, funding will have to be obtained and the plan approved by the government, which owns the park. For decades, Ocean Park was the only theme park in town and could live off its dolphin shows, cable car and scenic beauty. No more. It now faces an uphill battle to lure customers.

``They [Disney] are movies. We are nature. We are Hong Kong and they are [an] American import,'' Tom Mehrmann, the American chief executive brought in by Zeman, said as he outlined the strategy.

A projected 37,100 jobs - nearly 18,000 in construction alone - will be created by 2022 if the plan goes through. The project will pump HK$145 billion into the economy over the next 40 years, management claims. The projections are based on assessments of US-based Economic Research Associates, according to the proposal.

Disneyland is estimated to contribute about HK$148 billion to the economy.

Zeman said the government is getting a much better deal out of Ocean Park because Disney required HK$22 billion to build but the Ocean Park revamp will cost just a quarter of that mount.

The redevelopment will be conducted with a ``financially sound'' business model, Zeman said, adding that the park ``has been making money.''

Some HK$1.5 billion will be obtained through a subordinated loan from the government and another HK$4.05 billion will be sought from the government or commercial market.

Working capital will come from the park's internal resources.

Zeman said the park will be able to pay back the loans within 10 years.

Tourism Commissioner Eva Cheng, who also attended the press conference, said the plan was exciting and would help transform Aberdeen and Hong Kong Island South into a new tourist hub. But she would not say if the revamp is to begin next year as proposed.

A task force, chaired by Financial Secretary Henry Tang, has been set up to discuss the transport, logistics and financial issues of the plan.

In his budget address Wednesday, Tang committed HK$500 million for tourism promotion over the next two years, a figure that will obviously have to rise if Zeman's dream is to become a reality.

Ocean Park was opened by former governor Sir Murray Maclehose in 1977 and was once a top holiday getaway for locals.

Although the park has remained financially independent in recent years, it has lost some of its luster and only managed to sustain growth largely through the influx of mainland visitors.

Last year, 4.1 million people visited the park, a growth of 12 percent from the previous year, bringing the total number of visitors to 70 million. About 55 per cent are from the mainland. Zeman said admission fees will remain ``below'' those charged by Disneyland after the renovation and that the park will stay open for business during the two-phase redevelopment.

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I wonder why they don't do the renovation earlier..... the Hong Kong Disneyland is opening this year!
Finally, Ocean Park can be something decent. ~

In this aerial photo released by the Hong Kong Ocean Park, Hong Kong Ocean Park is seen in October, 2002. The park plans to spend 5.5 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$705 million, euro529 million) on a massive remodeling project as they face the new competition from Disneyland, which will open on Sept.12 ( AP Photo/Hong Kong Ocean Park, HO)

In this computer graphic image released by the Hong Kong Ocean Park on Friday, March 18, 2005, the entrance of the new Hong Kong Ocean Park is seen. The park plans to spend 5.5 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$705 million, euro529 million) on a massive remodeling project as they face the new competition from Disneyland, which will open on Sept.12 ( AP Photo/Hong Kong Ocean Park, HO )
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Who's afraid of a mouse?
Hong Kong theme park gets ready to compete with Disneyland

Associated Press Writer
28 March 2005

HONG KONG (AP) - Ocean Park has been Hong Kong's most successful theme park for nearly 30 years, wowing generations of visitors with dolphin shows, stomach-churning roller coasters and a cable car ride over a mountain with spectacular views of the South China Sea.

But the marine park's hammerhead sharks are about to face a fierce new competitor: Mickey Mouse. Disneyland is opening in Hong Kong in September, so Ocean Park has to figure out how to compete with one of the biggest names in its industry.

It's a problem more companies are facing in the era of globalization. Some stick to what they've always been doing and hope the foreign intruder will stumble or be spurned by loyal local customers. But Ocean Park is taking a riskier approach, making plans to spend 5.55 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$711 million) to revamp an attraction that has become faded, worn and dated.

"Ocean Park needs to survive," said Allan Zeman, one of Hong Kong's most successful entrepreneurs who's overseeing the park's overhaul. "The only way it can survive is if it becomes world class."

But Ocean Park's makeover isn't just about spiffing up a venue. It's also key to Hong Kong's strategy to become Asia's top holiday destination for families. The government is backing both parks financially, and their success might depend on luring enough foreign visitors to a city known more for fine dining, dealmaking and shopping than thrill rides.

"When families think of having a holiday, they will think of Hong Kong first," said Eva Cheng, Hong Kong's tourism commissioner.

Ocean Park has no plans to go head-to-head with Disney, a US$3.5 billion (euro2.7 billion) park built on reclaimed land on Hong Kong's outlying Lantau island, said Tom Mehrmann, Ocean Park's chief executive.

Mehrmann said the two parks will complement each other, and tourists will want to visit both of them. Ocean Park will be about animals and Disney will be about cartoons. Ocean Park will highlight nature, and Disney's theme will be movies. One will have a cable car, and the other a castle.

"We're Hong Kong. They're an American import," Mehrmann said.

Disneyland also says it wants to be a friendly neighbor and work together to make Hong Kong the top draw for families.

"Together with Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland will bring the family tourists to Hong Kong, diversifying the tourism mix and creating new opportunities for the territory," said Don Robinson, group managing director for the Disneyland park.

The government is expected to soon approve the construction of a new subway line to Ocean Park. If built, visitors would be able to take a 30-minute ride between the park and Disneyland, which opens Sept. 12.

About 70 million people have visited Ocean Park since it opened in 1977, says the nonprofit organization that runs the government-owned venue. It calls itself an "edu-tainment" attraction because it mixes rides like the turbo drop with displays of live pandas, sharks, killer whales and other educational sites. It's a popular stop on the school field trip circuit.

A mountain divides the park into two, and the cable car ride over the mountain shuttles people back and forth, providing a stunning view of the South China Sea. The park's new blueprint includes a 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) funicular tunnel through the mountain that can transport 5,000 passengers per hour, Mehrmann said.

Other new planned attractions include a "soaker coaster," a roller coaster equipped with water cannons in the cars and on the ground. People riding in the cars can shoot water at people on the ground and they can fire back.

The plans also call for:

-- A typhoon stunt show that combines the special effects of a typhoon with a display of actors fighting with kung fu on a fishing village set.

--A swim with dolphins program and an enclosed stadium -- shaped like a sea turtle's shell -- for killer whale shows.

--An "Ice Palace" with a sub-zero environment that allows visitors to don parkas and have snowball fights and carve ice sculptures.

--A 7.6 million liter (2 million gallon) aquarium with an underwater restaurant.

Ocean Park also wants to copy Disneyland and provide hotels at the site, and the revamp will be mostly funded with a HK$4.05 billion (US$519 million, euro400 million) construction loan from the government or commercial markets.

The park is waiting for the government's approval for the revamp, which would be completed by 2010 and would be done in phases so the entire attraction wouldn't have to be closed.

Tourism Commissioner Cheng said a government task force that's studying the park's proposal is sold on the idea of a refit. "We are now working to see how to best take this forward," she said.
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You can't beat the talking tree garbage cans.
I have 2 Questions:
1. Where is the conceptual model for the park displayed at?
2. Where can I find more pictures of the 'new' park?
Ocean Park makeover vital, says tourism chief
Carrie Chan
31 March 2005
South China Morning Post

Ocean Park can coexist with Hong Kong Disneyland but will need the large-scale makeover proposed by its management, the Tourism Board chairwoman said yesterday.

However, Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said she hoped tourists would not only focus on Hong Kong's theme parks. Mrs Chow made the remarks as she was appointed for another two-year term.

She told Metro Radio that she supported the proposed redevelopment of Ocean Park and was confident in chairman Allan Zeman's creativity.

Earlier this month the park unveiled plans for a $5.5 billion revamp, financed by private and government loans, to turn it into a world-class attraction.

"The two parks can coexist because their natures are different. But for Ocean Park, there either has to be a large-scale makeover or nothing at all," she said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Chow admitted that some tourists were still not fully informed about what to do in Hong Kong. Surveys indicated that most tourists want to stay in Hong Kong for five days, but only stayed about 31/2.

"They did not stay as long because they did not know there was so much more they could do in Hong Kong," she said.

Mrs Chow said the Discover Hong Kong 2006 campaign would aim to show tourists that Hong Kong did not only have Disneyland, but many other tourist attractions like the Tung Chung cable car.

Meanwhile, a joint campaign between Hong Kong Disneyland and Visa International will allow about 10,000 Visa cardholders to view a rehearsal at the theme park before its official opening on September 12.

The rehearsal period will start on August 16. The park previously announced that charity groups would be invited to view rehearsals.

The Visa cardholders will come from all over Asia, with a small number from Hong Kong.

There will also be a promotion allowing cardholders to attend a celebration after the park opens.
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looks like a phenomenal makeover for ocean park-- couple all this with new hk island mtr line...

No worries, says Ocean Park head

Ocean Park's animals, tradition and constantly evolving attractions will prove more than a match for rival Disneyland, its chairman Allan Zeman said Wednesday, adding he is confident of his park's future.

Andrea Chiu, Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ocean Park's animals, tradition and constantly evolving attractions will prove more than a match for rival Disneyland, its chairman Allan Zeman said Wednesday, adding he is confident of his park's future.

"What is Disney? It's castles, cartoons and fantasy. Ocean Park is real, with animals, education and ecology," he said, days before Disney opens.

When people visit Disneyland once, it's over, and not a place they return to, Zeman said.

"Ocean Park is different. It's got animals and new attractions every month or two."

The 28-year-old park sits on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Spread over more than 870,000 square meters, the park bills itself as an educational theme park with live animals and scenic surroundings.

People feared the end of Ocean Park when Disney announced plans to build a new theme park on Lantau Island. At the time, the eco-friendly attraction was the only theme park in the city.

But Zeman said he's not the least bit nervous. In fact, he said the two parks will be good for the city.

The addition of the Disney theme park is creating a new kind of tourism in Hong Kong, he said.

With families coming from mainland China and other countries, Zeman said Hong Kong will see the rise of family tourism.

There will be more themed restaurants and 2- and 3-star hotels to accommodate the new demographic, said the man credited with inventing the Lan Kwai Fong restaurant and entertainment district in Central.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board expects up to 27 million visitors to the territory in 2006, and Zeman is confident they will not all be heading for Disneyland.

"Where are they going to put them? Disney can't even hold 20,000 people," he said.

Government and Disney officials said Monday that they would consider reducing the new theme park's daily maximum capacity of 30,000 people.

Visitors to Disneyland's charity day Sunday complained of long lines and insufficient dining space.

"With only 13 attractions, they're only going to fit 15,000 to 20,000 max," Zeman said.

Ocean Park, with its 35 attractions, has capacity for 35,000 visitors a day.

Earlier this year, Zeman announced plans for a HK$5.5 billion makeover of the park that would include three hotels on the site.

The redevelopment would also see a doubling of attractions, including more animals and educational features.

Despite his big plans, Zeman maintains that Ocean Park is a singular community-oriented attraction with many different events running throughout the year, including its famous Halloween party in October.

He said Ocean Park is built on years of Hong Kong tradition that sets it apart from Disneyland.
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ocean park doesnt need to afraid disneyland
this small disneyland is not attractive,in my opinion...
Ocean Park has more educational material about the ocean and marine life .
Diseyland offer you 7 feet tall ugly mouse and duck wearing no pant.
I think Ocean Park is great...although I visited it a long time ago, it was exciting and interesting. The setting is also very good. Seems more interesting than Disney.
marvelous.......keep rocking on (^o^)

i look forward to visiting the new ocean park
Decision time on horizon for Ocean Park

With Hong Kong Disneyland now in full swing, the focus has shifted back to older rival Ocean Park, whose future will be decided by the end of the year.

Andrea Chiu
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, October 03, 2005

With Hong Kong Disneyland now in full swing, the focus has shifted back to older rival Ocean Park, whose future will be decided by the end of the year.
According to a spokeswoman from the government's Economic Development and Labour Bureau, the evaluation of the park's redevelopment plans are at an advanced stage. "We hope to arrive at a decision [on whether or not the development will go ahead] before the end of this year," she said.

The redevelopment of Ocean Park is crucial to the 28-year-old theme park's survival, especially with the opening of Disneyland last month.

Six months after Ocean Park chairman Allan Zeman announced the HK$5.5 billion plan to redevelop the park, he said there have been no major obstacles to the plans.

Zeman said many parties are involved in the approval process since it is such a large undertaking.

The park is undergoing an environmental impact assessment and is working with Legco, the Executive Council and various government departments simultaneously.

"We're in different stages with different government departments," Zeman said.

He said that the park has not deviated from its original timeline and is still on track to begin construction in July 2006, pending approval.

The spokeswoman at the Economic Development and Labour Bureau said the administration supported the general direction of the redevelopment plans.

"The administration is currently assessing the redevelopment plans carefully in respect of the financial, legal, institutional, planning, lands and transport, as well as engineering and technical aspects," she said.

The Board of Ocean Park Corporation is considering different financial scenarios involving borrowing money from banks and the government, Zeman said.

He said it is too early to give exact details about the financing, but insisted it will not be a problem.

"Everyone will buy into [Ocean Park's] business plan because it makes sense," he said.

According to the company, its makeover will create 37,100 new jobs by 2022 - but the figure includes the proposed MTR South Island extension and the construction of three hotels.

The South Island MTRC extension proposal will take passengers from Admiralty station to Ocean Park in four minutes, and no more than seven minutes if stops in Wan Chai and Happy Valley are added.

An MTRC spokeswoman said the extension depends on the approval and progress of the park's redevelopment.

She said the cost for the various scenarios have not been determined but the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau rejected the corporation's HK$10 billion proposal for a south island line in 2002 because it could not afford the HK$4 billion loan the MTRC requested.

Zeman has changed his mind since February 2004, when he said Ocean Park needed the South Island extension to survive. He now says the redevelopment plan can work without the MTR "but my recommendation to the government is that, if we were to do this, the extension would be good for the southside of the island. Half an hour on the MTR from Disney to Ocean Park brings the two parks together."

Zeman has said repeatedly that Mickey Mouse is no threat to Ocean Park, which has a special place as "the people's park" in Hong Kong. He said the park has been doing "quite well" since Disney's opening.

In 2004, Ocean Park attendance grew 12 percent from the previous year to 4.1 million visitors. With the redevelopment, the park hopes to welcome more than 5 million visitors a year by 2010. According to Zeman, the park's daily capacity will rise from 36,300 to 53,600 if the plans go through.

Disneyland, which has been criticized for its overwhelming crowds, claims it has a daily capacity of 30,000. The newer theme park hopes to attract 5.6 million people annually.

"Ocean Park and Disney go together hand and hand" Zeman said, adding that it was important that Hong Kong maintained both parks to fuel the city's tourism industry.

While Disney is a world of fantasy, he said Ocean Park emphasizes the "fun of ecology."

Zeman said that, when the redevelopment is completed, Ocean Park will be Hong Kong's epicenter of "edutainment," combining education with entertainment for people of all ages.

With the addition of three new hotels, doubling the number of attractions from 35 to 70 and tripling the shows from four to 12, Zeman hopes the park will be a multi-day experience for visitors.

The redevelopment will mean new attractions that include additional thrill rides, upgraded food elements and one of the largest toy stores in Hong Kong, Zeman said.

"We've also looked into getting killer whales, beluga whales, walruses and penguins," he said. "It will be a balance of animals and other attractions."

As well as its cable car, there will be a "funicular" train to transport guests.

If approved, phase one of construction will be completed by 2008 and the second phase by 2010.
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Ocean Park plans hotels to counter Disney competition
27 October 2005
South China Morning Post

Ocean Park will build three hotels as part of a plan to offset competition from Hong Kong Disneyland.

Executive director Matthias Li said the two to three-star Ocean Hotel, with 700 rooms, would be built near the sea park's entrance.

Also, a six-star spa resort with 150 to 200 rooms would be built at a site occupied by amusement machines. And a four-star, 400-room hotel named Fisherman's Wharf would be built in the area that formerly housed the now-closed Middle Kingdom attraction.

Mr Li said there was no timeframe for the developments. Ocean Park vowed in March it would position itself as a world-class attraction with a $5.5 billion revamp.

Meanwhile, a concept plan for the Aberdeen Tourism Project showcasing local traditions, and featuring entertainment, and leisure and dining facilities was revealed yesterday by the Tourism Commission.

The plan consists of three themed areas - a traditional fishing harbour, a fishermen's wharf and floating restaurants.

The Aberdeen promenade will be redeveloped to highlight the lifestyle and culture of traditional fishing communities.

The commission said that under the plan, ferries would connect the attractions with Stanley and islands including Lamma.

It would also explore the possibility of developing sampan tours of Aberdeen harbour.
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The plan was approved by the Executive Council yesterday...
October 27, 2005
Government Press Release
Ocean Park to undergo facelift

The Executive Council has endorsed the redevelopment plans for Ocean Park which aim to turn the 28-year-old Ocean Park into a world-class marine-themed attraction.

The redevelopment is expected to bring economic benefits of $40 billion to $48 billion over 40 years. It will directly and indirectly generate 2,600 to 4,000 additional full-time equivalent jobs upon the opening of Phase I in 2008/09, rising to between 11,300 and 12,800 in 2021/22.

With the redevelopment, it is estimated that visitors to the park will increase from 4 million in 2004/05 to more than 5 million by 2010/11 and more than 7 million by 2021/22.

The redeveloped park will act as a catalyst for urban re-generation of the Southern District and the development of the Aberdeen area as a tourism node, the Economic Development & Labour Bureau said.

It will complement Hong Kong Disneyland and greatly enhance Hong Kong's attraction as the premier family destination in the region.

Key themes unchanged

According to the plans, "Ocean" and "Animal Encounter" will continue to be the park's key themes. The redeveloped Ocean Park will be divided into two major areas - the Waterfront (formerly the Lowland) and the Summit (formerly the Headland), featuring more than 70 distinctive attractions.

Under the plans, construction work will be carried out in phases with Phase 1 targeted for completion by the end of 2008 and Phase 2 in 2010. The phased redevelopment programme will allow the park to remain open during the construction period.

The redevelopment cost is estimated to be $5.55 billion. The Government is prepared to provide support for half of the funding - $2.775 billion - of which $1.3875 billion (25% of the project cost) will be in the form of a government guarantee for Ocean Park to secure commercial loans and $1.3875 billion (25% of the project cost) as a subordinated loan.

The Government will soon seek the approval of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee for the proposed funding arrangement.

Gov't to provide subordinated loan

To allow appropriate commercial market involvement, the Government will provide a subordinated loan that amounts to 25% of the project cost while the rest will be sourced from the commercial market. It will guarantee repayment of part of the commercial loan up to 25% of the total project cost.

Under the proposed funding arrangement, the Government will equally share the loan risk exposure with the commercial market. It will also help Ocean Park secure commercial loans on reasonably advantageous terms.

The Government says the redevelopment will not create insurmountable problems in respect of the engineering, technical, lands and planning, transport, or economic aspects. The environmental assessment of the plans is being dealt with in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance.
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