Ocean Park was hit with a HK$1.11 billion loss for the financial year ended on 30 June, while the number of visitors has dropped to 1.4 million as the park remained closed for more than five months. In the 2020-21 financial year, the park has lost a net of HK$1.11 billion before the government’s funding support of HK$1.45 billion received in the fiscal year. The revenue of the park dropped significantly to HK$393.6 million compared to the previous fiscal year, equivalent to a 45% decrease. Due to the pandemic, the number of visitors decreased by 36% to only 1.4 million in the same fiscal year.
Ocean Park said in accordance with government mandates, it had closed for 40% of the fiscal year or 146 days between 1 July 2020 and 17 February 2021, completely cutting off its source of revenue from visitors. Ocean Park reopened on 18 February 2021 with reduced capacity thanks to government measures, relying on local visitors heavily as Hong Kong has received few visitors since the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, there were only 63,000 visitors coming to Hong Kong from January to September this year, a 98.2% decrease compared to the previous year.
“Despite a continuing difficult operating environment, we reimagined the Ocean Park experience with creativity and experimented with new concepts that leveraged the infinite potentials of the park’s unique setting. Equally encouraging was the extraordinary conservation and education work that our team delivered amid various COVID-19 restrictions," said Ivan Wong Chi-fai, chief executive of Ocean Park Corporation.
The park has changed its strategy amidst the pandemic. Recently, Ocean Park launched its Green Staycation programme, allowing visitors to practice yoga, hike and enjoy glamping in the venue, offering new experiences to visitors to generate revenue.
In August, Ocean Park issued a pre-qualification invitation as the first phase of a procurement exercise to solicit potential partners to co-develop the park through a build-operate-transfer model. The pre-qualification exercise will help pre-qualify respondents for the tender process, maintaining a manageable number of bidders while ensuring that they share Ocean Park’s vision on future development, conservation and education, as well as having the requisites to deliver the development proposals of the future strategy.
The tender stage will commence in late 2021 or early 2022. Ocean Park aims to build a partner community that shares its vision on conservation and education and executes its future strategy.
Also in September, it officially opened Water World as the management of the park and the Hong Kong government hoped the venue would become a favourite leisure destination of locals and international visitors in the years to come. As part of Ocean Park's revamp, the park said Water World's unique location and concept make it "the only water park in Asia that combines stunning ocean views and landscape."
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