Hong Kong tourist attraction Ocean Park to receive HK$5 billion public funding

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  • The theme park is at risk of bankruptcy without the bailout
  • Most of the money will go towards paying off debt
Wong Tsui-kai |
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Ocean Park has been closed since late January. Photo: SCMP / Martin Chan

On Friday evening at 6pm, the Legislative Council voted to fund the Ocean Park rescue bailout. The park will receive HK$5.4 billion in funds from public coffers to remain in business. The government stated before the vote that the park would go bankrupt and be forced to shut down without the money.

The vote was passed with 32 votes, while there were 20 objections, and two abstentions. Both pro-establishment and opposition parties had expressed misgivings about the bailout.

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According to financial documents submitted to Legco, around HK$3 billion is owed to the Bank of China. This figure led to intense questioning by lawmakers about the viability of the theme park, and whether the public money would be used to pay to make up for private commercial mistakes.

The attraction has been closed since January 26, shortly after the city confirmed its first coronavirus infections. There is currently no set day for reopening.

An earlier HK$10.6 billion request for funding an expansion was cut down after the Covid-19 epidemic meant a grim year was predicted for tourism, a major pillar of the park’s income stream.

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