Ocean Park freebies promote conservation

Local | Cissy So and Amy Nip 9 Mar 2018

Ocean Park will prioritize schools that put more effort into conservation when giving out 10,000 free tickets, chief executive Matthias Li Sing-chung said yesterday.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po had revealed in his budget that the theme park will give the freebies to primary and secondary school students.

Li told a press conference the park is working on arrangements for the handout, with details released by month's end.

"The main purpose of the free tickets is to raise attention to nature conservation, and educate students about animals and nature. This is also the purpose behind Ocean Park," he said.

On top of the 10,000 tickets, teachers accompanying students will gain free entry.

While the free tickets are offered by the park and not paid for by taxpayers' money, the government has promised to allocate HK$300 million to the local attraction to promote educational tourism.

The park's deputy chairman, Lau Ming-wai, made it clear the free tickets are not something the park offered in exchange for the funding.

Some concern groups protested against the funding, as they disagree with animal performances in the park. However, Lau said overseas examples proved that it is effective to use animals to educate children about conservation.

The funding will be used on the park's education center, outreach service and revamping the light show at night.

Separately, the park will launch a nighttime fiesta, called the Drink'N Music Fest, for the second year over four consecutive weekends, and the Easter holidays from March 10 to April 2.

There will be 20 mini-concerts, featuring musicians Shine, RubberBand, Dear Jane and Janice Vidal. Each concert will cost HK$180 to HK$280.

Cissy So and Amy Ni

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