Saturday, July 26, 2014   




RECORD CROWDS THRONG TO PARKS

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Thousands of residents and tourists had their holidays ruined when Ocean Park suspended the sale of tickets for the second successive day because of excessive crowds.

The two-day shutout at the popular theme park sparked renewed calls yesterday for more tourism attractions and infrastructure to meet an increasing number of visitors.

Crowd management measures were implemented to control admissions to the park,

though those celebrating their birthdays, senior citizens aged 65 and over who enjoy free entry, and annual pass holders were not affected.

A spokeswoman said the number of visitors on Tuesday surpassed the 2011 daily record of 48,000.

She added that when guests reach 28,000 to 32,000, the park usually makes an announcement persuading visitors to return another day.

"Our regulation is that not more than 36,600 can appear in the park at the same time,'' she said.

Visitors to Disneyland also complained that they spent a long time in queues to get rides.

A spokeswoman said Disneyland recorded its highest number of visitors for a single day on Tuesday, while yesterday's crowd was the second highest. She did not mention the figures.

The tourism sector has called for an increase in the number of attractions and has opposed limiting the number of visitors through administrative measures.

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said it is time to review Hong Kong's ability to receive visitors and agreed
on suggestions to develop more attractions in districts such as the islands.

Yiu also suggested reviewing the maximum attendance at Ocean Park and Disneyland.

"In the short term we can improve the notifi dhcation system by making announcements at border crossings so that visitors can adjust their itineraries,'' he said. "In the long term, there should be more attractions in order to disperse the visitors. For example, we can improve facilities in the islands to attract visitors.

"Building a Shaolin monastery in Sai Kung, which has been reported, is also a good idea.''

Yiu opposed limiting the number of visitors with administrative measures, saying this will have a prolonged impact on the economy.

"Once you stop visitors from coming, it will be hard to get them back.''

Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung welcomed the construction of more attractions but said this will take time.

A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Tourism Board said it has not received complaints about overcrowding at attractions.

BEATRICE SIU


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