Officially opened on 10th Jan 1977 by the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose, the Ocean Park was constructed with HK$150million funded from the racing profits earned from the Hong Kong Jockey Club while the land was given free by the Hong Kong Government. It is located in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. The park has won several awards, including The World’s Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park and 33rd Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the World by Forbes (American publishing and Media Company. and their vision is to be the world leader in providing excellent guest experiences in an amusement park environment connecting people with nature. On 1st July 1987, Ocean Park ceased to be a subsidiary of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, becoming its own statutory body, with a Government-appointed Board. At present, Ocean Park is managed by a financially-independent, non-profit organization called Ocean Park Corporation. In Jun 2005, Ocean Park achieved its highest recorded attendance in its history.
Gross revenue grew by 12% and was HK$684 million in 2005 due to their monopoly conditions. It was then Hong Kong Disneyland was opened on Sept 2005 and Ocean Park faced serious competition. The Monopoly Days Even though Ocean Park monopolizes in Hong Kong, they suffered losses from 1999-2002. It was mainly due to the famous Asian financial crisis, while the SARS in 2003 inflict more damages to Ocean Park. The revamping of the brand logo from seahorse to sea lion (Whiskers) on 2000 did leave a better vivid impression to the public, but it was not enough.
The management did not see innovation as a major factor to rein still interest to the public, the thrill rides eventually become out-dated and shabby yet Ocean Park remain contented with their current status. The huge investment on the Abyss Turbo Drop was a good start to innovate, but it does not give the public the urge to take a 2nd ride. Activities and festival events ideas were further introduce to attract the public which manage to receive great response from the public.
Eventually, employees create a work culture and comfort zone which retards the Ocean Park’s reengineering policy, though the management realizes the need of culturing innovation. The workforce resisted the change and become reluctant and worried about facing the new challenges ahead. The Intervention of Hong Kong Disneyland On Sept 2005, 3rd Disneyland from Joint venture Walt Disney and Hong Kong SAR government was set up with their selling points on those famous Disney Cartoon Characters.
Though the admission fees were much higher compare relatively to Ocean Park, their price was considered the cheapest entry for Disneyland and new thrill rides definitely act as surprises for the public who already attended Ocean Park before and acts as an option between the two strong rivals. In terms of attractions, Both Ocean Park and Disneyland have their unique selling point to have a fair market share in Hong Kong.
Ocean Park is primarily focusing on nature and wildlife, providing educational to the public on animals while Disneyland emphasis on creating fantasy and virtual stimulations. With sure fierce confrontation from Disneyland, Ocean Park has to seek an immediate response to prevent them for doom. They fought back by introducing new roller coaster and aquarium; build hotels nearby to go head-on-head with Disneyland which always come with hotels for tourists.
Major Problem Ocean Park faced Ocean Park already faced shortage of talented and educated employees, due to the fact that the majority of these employees tend to favor finance sector than tourism industry, The great demand is further enhance as Disneyland is competing with Ocean Park for these talents. In terms of career opportunities and prospect, Disneyland has the upper hand over Ocean Park. To add salt to injury, Disney is deemed to poach Ocean Park’s best workers.