Hong Kong's Ocean Park to collapse, requires state bailout
- A Monitor Desk Report 13 May, 2020 | 984 Views|-+
Dhaka: One of the signature amusement parks of Hong Kong, Ocean Park, could go bankrupt by the end of June if it does not receive an urgent bailout package of HKD 5.4 billion (USD 700 million), a local official said on May 11.
Ocean Park is just one of the many tourist attractions hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The amusement park was facing financial difficulties even before COVID-19 outbreak. Four consecutive years of losses and slow progress of its new water park project had already led its financial statements in a great mess.
The number of visitors to Ocean Park fell by 40 per cent year on year to 3.3 million, and the company's annual loss expanded to HKD 557 million in the last financial year.
In January, the government was considering injecting HKD 10.64 billion to the government-owned tourist spot for long-term renovation.
However, the city's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Tang-wah, said on May 11 that the officials had changed their plans as the coronavirus pandemic has brought the city's tourism sector to a standstill, pushing the authorities to use public funds more judiciously.
The proposed emergency aid package will be reviewed by the Special Administrative Region's legislature on May 15, determining the fate of the 43-year-old theme park.
"The challenges faced by Ocean Park are unprecedented," Yau said, adding "Without the aid, the park will not be able to survive."