Ocean Park overtakes Disney in global table

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2008, 12:00am

Ocean Park has pulled ahead of Hong Kong Disneyland in global rankings of the most-visited theme parks last year.

Ocean Park, which reported record attendance last year, was listed at No 16, with 4.92 million visitors. In 2006 it had 4.38 million visitors and was ranked 21st on the list.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in September 2005, slipped to 21st place last year from number 18 in 2006 as attendance dropped to 4.15 million from 5.2 million, a decline of 20.2 per cent.

Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida topped the rankings with attendance of more than 17 million last year, up from 16.64 million in 2006.

The figures in the Themed Entertainment Association/Economics Research Associates' Attraction Attendance Report are based on a calendar year.

'Hong Kong Disneyland, in its second [full] year of operation, experienced a sophomore slump, down more than 20 per cent from its opening year,' ERA principal Christian Aaen said in the report. 'Ocean Park, which caters heavily to the Chinese tourist market, displayed strong attendance growth at more than 12 per cent, leading to a record season.'

Among theme parks in Asia, Ocean Park was ranked fifth, up from eighth place in 2006. Hong Kong Disneyland stayed put at seventh place.

Ocean Park, which is the only facility outside the Americas to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is spending about HK$5.5 billion to redevelop its facilities.