HK Government Proposes Nearly $700 Million Bailout for Ocean Park
What’s new: The Hong Kong government proposed Monday to provide HK$5.4 billion ($697 million) to keep the city’s iconic amusement park afloat and its 7,500 ocean animals alive.
Without the government bailout, Hong Kong Ocean Park could go out of business by the end of June as the Covid-19 pandemic froze tourism, the park’s chairman said Monday.
The new funding proposal, now pending approval from legislators, aims at supporting the park’s operations over the next 12 months and paying off a commercial debt of around HK$3 billion as the park prepares to reopen.
The background: Ocean Park closed Jan. 26 and furloughed nonessential employees. The closure cost the park HK$700 million of lost revenue, Chairman Kung Lin-cheng said.
Even before the pandemic, the park was struggling as months of anti-government protests took a toll on tourism. The park recorded three consecutive years of deficits and had a loss of HK$557 million in the most recent fiscal year.
The Hong Kong government proposed in January to provide HK$10.64 billion of funding for park redevelopment and alleviation of financial burden.
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