Chinese tourists

December tourism numbers up as Ocean Park offers ticket discounts to Hong Kong residents to boost attendance

Mainland visitor numbers still falling, down slightly for 2016’s last quarter

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 8:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 10:28pm

The city’s visitor numbers for December were up by 5.4 per cent year on year, according to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung.

The minister said so during the 40th anniversary celebrations of Ocean Park, which will offer discounted tickets for Hong Kong residents later this month.

Last month mainland visitors were up 6.1 per cent year on year, while non-mainland visitors jumped 3.6 per cent on 2015.

New tourism law set to target shady operators

So said the December performance was “not bad” and showed an upward trend that he hoped would continue.

Overall tourism performance in the fourth quarter showed a 0.4 per cent increase year on year, with non-mainland visitors up 2.3 per cent. But mainland visitor numbers were still falling, if only slightly, down 0.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, in a bid to boost local patronage, Ocean Park is offering Hong Kong residents tickets for HK$40 – instead of the regular price of HK$438 for an adult ticket – as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

Hong Kong residents will be able to buy one of 4,000 daily available tickets – adult or child – on the Ocean Park website from Wednesday at 4pm until January 22. Tickets will be valid from January 16-22.

“Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s home-grown and premier theme park,” chairman of Ocean Park Leo Kung Lin-cheng said.

“From humble beginnings with just 12 attractions, the park has evolved in to a world-class theme park. We will not rest on our laurels and are already getting set to unveil the next phase of Ocean Park’s development.”

How Ocean Park got off the ground 40 years ago

Ocean Park had a deficit of HK$241.1 million in the financial year ending June 30, 2016 – its first deficit since the Sars epidemic in 2003 – and a decline of nearly 1 million visitors.

Former Ocean Park chairman Allan Zeman said the new South Island MTR line would help boost numbers, as early results showed promise.

“Speaking to some of the management at Ocean Park, the South Island Line has already brought more visitors here,” he said.

He added that the under-construction water park, scheduled to open in 2018, would also help increase attendence.