BILL ERNEST, HKD EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT
The first problem noticed was that the capacity limit of 30,000 visitors may have been too high. For example, on Sept 4,2005, approximately 29,000 local visitors went to the park. The average queuing time was 45 mins for the restaurants and more than two hours for the rides. The park faced pressure to lower the daily capacity limit. Instead, the park proposed other measures, such as extending the opening time by an hour and encouraging visits during weekdays by offering discounts, as opposed to reducing the actual limit.
The parked faced another problem when inspectors from the Hygiene Department were asked to remove their badges and caps prior to carrying out an official investigation of a food-poisoning case. Park officials later apologized and pledged to operate in compliance with all local regulations and customs. But problems continued. The police could not get into the park – even when deemed necessary – unless pre-arranged with the park’s security unit.
The park faced several public relations problems during its first year of operations, none bigger than that which occurred during the popular Chinese Lunar New Year holiday period. HKD had introduced a new, discounted, one-day ticket that could be used at anytime during a given six-month period. These tickets could not be used on “special days” when the park anticipated an influx of visitors. The first period of special days was the Lunar New Year holidays. In hong kong, the 2006 Lunar New Year period started on Jan 28 (Sat) and ended on Jan 31 (Tue). However, HKD failed to take into account that the following two days Feb1 and 2 were still public holidays in Mainland China. Mainland tour agencies had purchased large batches of the discounted tickets and escorted large groups of Mainland tourists to HKD during those two days.
Customers also complained...