The SAR needs to strike a balance between economic benefits and social costs when considering the proposed Disney theme park, academics warned yesterday. John Ap, associate professor of hotel and tourism management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said that while the project would create more job opportunities, not all profits generated from the theme park would end up in Hong Kong's coffers. 'Hong Kong needs to work out the net benefits. We cannot just welcome them with open arms - we also need to be cautious,' Dr Ap said. The disadvantages of a developing a theme park on Lantau Island might include environmental damage and the high cost of providing infrastructure and land, he said. 'How much of our fish-breeding grounds do we lose, for instance, off Lantau?' Dr Ap said. The Government has pledged to reveal its progress in negotiations with Disney by the end of the month. Details have been held back on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. Dr Ap said the public had the right to know how much the project would cost. 'At some stage, members of the public must be consulted as far as cost is concerned. They must be allowed to decide if it is acceptable,' he said. Professor Ray Pine, head of the university's tourism department, said that even if government talks with Disney broke down, there was still the possibility of a deal with Universal Studios. He said Hong Kong had enjoyed positive publicity from the Disney proposal. Professor Pine said a Disney theme park would benefit tourism and create job opportunities in the catering and transport sectors. It would also boost the SAR's international image. On tourism in general, Professor Pine urged a more comprehensive government policy. His department has called for the development of the SAR as a 'dining and cuisine paradise' and promotion of the city's cultural and 'street-related activities'.