Editorial : Transformation plan for Ocean Park

【明報專訊】The government has revealed a transformation plan for Ocean Park. The lower park area will be turned into a retail, dining, and entertainment (RDE) zone which will not charge an entrance fee, while at the upper park area visitors will be charged per attraction after the completion of the plan. The transformation plan is in essence about partitioning Ocean Park. Except for some conservation-related attractions and a new water park, which will continue to be run by the Ocean Park Corporation, the facilities will be outsourced to contractors, who will operate various kinds of leisure and recreational activities. Due to the significant changes in Hong Kong society and the environment of its tourist industry over the past two years, the objective and subjective conditions for Ocean Park remaining a theme park have ceased to exist. The shift to a commercialised path that focuses on local consumption seems to be a relatively practical option for the time being. Still, it is uncertain whether the park will become financially self-sustainable after the partition plan. Whether conservation will be subordinated to become a rump component is also an unknown. Commercialisation is not necessarily a bad thing. However, from the privatisation of Link REIT to the partial privatisation of the MTR Corporation, Hong Kong citizens have fallen victim to a "profit-oriented" degeneration. Every option comes at a cost. We hope that the transformation plan will not lead Ocean Park to another path of degeneration and turn it into something that exists in name only.