Adversely affected by MCO, theme parks eager to reopen

Operators hope the govt will allow them to operate soon as the economy is gearing towards recovery


STILL adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to almost a year of closure, theme parks are still not allowed to reopen under the second round of Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0).

As more sectors have been allowed to operate, theme park operators have been preparing themselves with enhanced standard operating procedures (SOPs) to welcome visitors again, in case they are next in line to get the nod for reopening.

After only four months of operations last year, Sunway Theme Parks ED Calvin Ho said theme parks under the group namely Sunway Lagoon in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh, Perak, would have closed down due to the pandemic.

However, both theme parks managed to stay afloat with the support of the group and other segments that were still allowed to operate.

“The impact is terrible. If it was not for the Sunway group, we would have already closed down,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

The MCO 2.0 enforced last month has pushed the teams in both theme parks to get innovative and find ways to serve customers in the new norm.

Ho said the group had reimagined the idea of “play” and looked into every aspect of the government’s safety procedures to ensure a safe environment for visitors in the amusement park.

“We improved our SOPs in February last year and every other month we adapt to new changes that may develop over time. Should there be a new system that we can adopt, we are open to it.

“I feel strongly that we are at the best level of SOPs. For example, we have improved our automatic chlorination system. We also make sure that the parks are disinfected every two hours,” he said.

Ho also hoped for the government to allow theme parks to operate soon as the economy is gearing towards recovery.

“When we are permitted to reopen, we are poised to continue to rise as the leading theme park player in this region.

“As long as we consistently provide the best experiential value to our guests, we will continue to ride the wave of leisure expansion. This will power up the nation’s economic recovery with a positive spill-over effect for leisure and non-leisure businesses,” he added.

The global health crisis has also pushed Legoland Malaysia to be innovative and generate revenue through other platforms after the closure of its theme park.

Legoland Malaysia Resorts divisional director CS Lim said the group has initiated various online activities to engage with their customers such as the Lego Challenge where participants build a structure made out of Lego pieces based on the topics given.

Legoland has also launched an online retail store which enables visitors to buy a new range of Lego merchandise.

Previously, visitors could only purchase these items at the Legoland theme park itself.

“We generated other revenue through online sales and that slightly made up for the losses, but you can never truly compensate for the closure and limitation of capacity,” he told TMR.

Under the new SOPs, Legoland has opted to limit its maximum capacity to 30%.

Lim said the group is ready to reopen and welcome visitors soon as they have set in place the highest standard of safety compliance.

Besides the regular SOPs such as keeping a safe distance between individuals and temperature screening before entering, Lim said the group has also enhanced cleaning and sanitising in place.

“We introduced contactless payment and e-menu for our food outlets. There are also protection shields at our counters to avoid direct contact between our employees and customers.

“We are very confident that we can reopen and ensure a high safety standard for the comfort and confidence of our employees, customers and community,” he added.

Read our previous report here

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