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Hong Kong legislators struggle with Ocean Park bailout

Hong Kong legislators struggle with Ocean Park bailout
May 20, 2020

The future of Ocean Park Hong Kong is in doubt with the Administrative region's legislators failing to agree on a Government bailout plan to inject HK$5.4 billion into the attraction which could see it cease operations as early as June.

According to the South China Morning Post, legislators have cited a failure by the Hong Kong Government to provide a credible rescue plan as he reason for their reluctance to back the funding.

Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Tang-wah, told a Legislative Council Finance Committee meeting this week "Ocean Park needs to reposition itself.

“We’re still adamant that Ocean Park can survive on its own but it needs to overcome the present financial crisis first.”

Secretary Yau also said a cross-departmental committee would develop a way forward in six months, including its sources of financing, operating models and structure, noting "the park will focus on its strength – conservation and education – while taking measures to cut cost and generate income.

He warned that without the bailout the theme park could cease operations as early as June,

The South China Morning Post reported that Elizabeth Quat, of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, commented "it’s a dilemma.

“Is this actually a move pouring money down the drain? The fact is, I can’t see any concrete plan about how to save Ocean Park.

“I don’t see where the money come from. The government should take back this request and give us a detailed plan for us to consider.”

Ocean Park Deputy Chairman, of Lau Ming-wai, has also warned that winding up the attraction would be more expensive than the bailout, telling The Standard "any plan the review committee comes up with will be better than the park being liquidated chaotically."

Closed since January, Ocean Park is currently preparing to reopen as Hong Kong's Coronavirus is eased.

in full swing. It has been temporarily closed since January in a bid to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Ocean Park also sought an HK$10.64 billion cash injection from the SAR Government in January.

Winding up Ocean Park would potentially be more costly than bailout, with HK$10 billion needed to repay commercial loans, rehouse animals, remove facilities and pay off employees.

Image: Crowds enjoy Ocean Park's marine life show.

Related Articles

12th May 2020 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park faces closure as Government considers financial aid package

7th May 2020 - Hong Kong Government to allow reopening of gyms, amusement centres, cinemas and entertainment venues

12th April 2020 - Ocean Park’s pandas mate during Coronavirus lockdown

12th March 2020 - East Asian theme parks remain closed as others continue to operate during Coronavirus crisis

16th January 2020 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park reveals future vision as adventure-themed attraction

16th December 2019 - Ride investment sees Ocean Park rack up another year of deficit

4th September 2019 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park launches marine research facility

10th July 2019 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park looks to treble solar power capacity by 2020

7th June 2019 - Entrance prices at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park rise by 4%

18th February 2019 - Revenue rises but deficit remains at Ocean Park Hong Kong

1st March 2018 - Hong Kong’s Ocean Park to get HK$310 million Government bail out

29th July 2017 - Ocean Park seeks new Ticketing and Admission System

24th September 2016 - Ocean Park Chief Executive confident of attracting more visitors

10th February 2016 - Dramatic decline in visitation sees Ocean Park lose over a million visitors in 2015

7th November 2015 - Ocean Park waterpark to make a splash in 2018

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