Cover Paulo Pong (Photo: Supplied)

Leisure and hospitality leader Pong succeeds Lau Ming-wai, who held the position since 2020

Paulo Pong has been appointed as the new chairman of the Ocean Park Corporation, replacing Asia’s Most Influential honouree Lau Ming-wai, who has been on the company’s board for over 14 years.

In a statement to press on June 17, commerce minister Edward Yau spoke highly of the outgoing chairman, who served for two years: “With his profound knowledge of the park and passion in driving the park’s development, Mr Lau has led the park to embrace its many challenges and supported the formulation of future strategies, making important contributions and charting a new path for the park.”

Pong, who previously served as deputy chair of Ocean Park, will start his two-year term in July. He brings a wealth of experience to the role: he is founder of Altaya Group, a leader in Asia’s wine industry, co-founder and executive director of the Classified Group of restaurants, and a partner in the JIA Group.

Ocean Park’s visitor numbers dropped due to restrictions imposed by authorities after the onset of Covid-19 and, despite a HK$8.2 billion government injection to keep the park afloat and the opening of new attraction Water World, the theme park has had trouble regaining momentum. After a tumultuous few years and with uncertainty around the future of Hong Kong’s tourist industry ahead, Ocean Park is counting on Pong’s business acumen to turn things around.

Pong is married to Sonia Cheng, CEO of the Rosewood Hotel Group and executive director of New World Development, with whom he has four children. 

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