Struggling Hong Kong theme park Ocean Park has announced plans for a HK$6.8 billion (US$874 million) overhaul and revealed the appointment of a new chief executive.
Ivan Wong Chi-fai, former general manager of the now defunct UA cinema chain, has been named the attraction’s new general manager.
He will succeed tourism commissioner Joe Wong Chi-cho, who was seconded from the Hong Kong government in May to serve as interim chief executive as Ocean Park conducted an open recruitment exercise to fill the position.
Wong (picture below) is President of the Hong Kong Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in Great Britain. He most recently served as chief operating officer of Lark International Group, which owned UA Cinemas.
Ocean Park Chairman Lau Ming-wai said he was excited about Wong’s appointment to the management team and would work with him on the park’s transformation, commenting on “his state of His market-driven mind and remarkable commercial experience, from product development to commercial re-engineering, make him well suited for the role.
“Ocean Park faces a big challenge in the near future as it will have to review its operating model and become financially self-sufficient.
“So it’s only fitting that she found a candidate who knows how to manage business operations.”
Ocean Park’s redesign was approved in March by Hong Kong governments with the aim of reviving the site as a financially self-sufficient retail and leisure destination focused on education and conservation, with a variety of outsourced entertainment and other activities offered.
As part of the proposals, Ocean Park will operate an area with conservation and education facilities, cable cars and a new Water World attraction.
The rest of the resort will be managed in partnership with external operators, who will pay rent or share revenue with Ocean Park.
A victim of the coronavirus pandemic, UA closed the last of its cinemas in Hong Kong in March after operating in the city for 36 years.
Prior to Tourism Commissioner Wong’s acting role at Ocean Park, the two previous general managers were Ocean Park veterans. Ysanne Chan Sein-yu and her predecessor Matthias Li Sing-chung were both former chief financial officers who had worked at the theme park for nearly three decades.
July 5, 2021 – Ocean Park Hong Kong previews new Water World attraction
July 1, 2021 – Ocean Park offers Hong Kong residents a pass for unlimited visits
January 19, 2021 – Government backs US$46 million renovation for Hong Kong’s Ocean Park
May 20, 2020 – Hong Kong lawmakers fight Ocean Park bailout
May 12, 2020 – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park faces closure as government considers financial relief package
April 12, 2020 – Ocean Park pandas mate during coronavirus lockdown
January 16, 2020 – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reveals its vision for the future as an adventure-themed attraction
December 16, 2019 – Investment in Ride sees Ocean Park rack up another year of deficit
September 4, 2019 – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park launches marine research facility
July 10, 2019 – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park plans to triple its solar power capacity by 2020
Jun 7, 2019 – Hong Kong Ocean Park Admission Prices Rise by 4%
February 18, 2019 – Revenues rise but deficit remains at Ocean Park Hong Kong
March 1, 2018 – Hong Kong’s Ocean Park to get HK$310 million government bailout
September 18, 2017 – Ocean Park Hong Kong closes Halloween-themed haunted house after guest dies
July 29, 2017 – Ocean Park seeks new ticketing and admissions system
September 24, 2016 – Ocean Park general manager confident of attracting more visitors
March 21, 2016 – Ocean Park launches free Wi-Fi and new mobile app to attract visitors
February 10, 2016 – Dramatic drop in visitor numbers causes Ocean Park to lose over a million visitors in 2015
November 7, 2015 – Ocean Park water park will be a sensation in 2018
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