Hong Kong’s Ocean Park seeks to boost dwindling tourist figures with Pokemon Go-style app

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Organisers of annual Halloween Fest have developed an augmented reality smartphone game in the hope of drawing more visitors

Ocean Park will draw on the ­Pokemon Go craze by introducing an augmented reality app for its Halloween festivities in an ­effort to curb a 10 per cent decline in mainland visitor numbers.

A spokeswoman for the park said despite a fall in mainland visitors, organisers were hoping for a 5 to 10 per cent increase on last year’s Halloween Fest attendance of one million tourists.

“So far the park has seen a 10 per cent decrease in the number of mainland tourists, from 50 per cent to 40 per cent, despite a 10 per cent increase in both local and overseas tourists numbers,” a spokeswoman said.

She added that anti-mainland sentiment in Hong Kong may have discouraged tourists from travelling across the border. “Yet the number of tourists is increasing steadily now and we have confidence in the future,” she said.

The augmented reality smartphone app, titled Halloween Ghost Hunt, will allow tourists to search for ghosts in the Legendary Palace scare zone, detect ghosts in the street and play mini games to redeem special gifts.

Organisers confirmed the introduction of the app along with three Surprise Zones for children, seven Scare Zones for the more daring and 10 spooky shows ­between October 2 and 31.

“With these new technologies and attractions, we want to make our audiences’ experience every year new. This is very important to us,” Vivian Lee Ling-fung, executive director of sales and marketing, said.

A vampire-themed room with a 3D projection of Taiwanese actor Danson Tang will also ­feature as part of the attractions.

“We are working for the first time with a non-local artist … to appeal to young Asian guests and encourage them to take part in the fest,” Lee said.

Ocean Park will also open the Ghostbusters Live scare house for lovers of the 1980s American movie series. Visitors will be able to explore an eerie mansion, a haunted subway and New York’s Times Square.

“A fog screen has also been ­installed in the scare zone to project lively characters from the movie onto the screen so as to immerse our guests in the haunted attraction,” Eva Au Yeung, events and entertainment director, said.

Tickets for the Halloween fun are available from today. Adult tickets will cost HK$385 while children’s tickets (ages three to 11) will cost HK$193.

Source: SCMP

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