Ocean Park runs out of cash, seeks HK$5.4bn urgently - RTHK
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Ocean Park runs out of cash, seeks HK$5.4bn urgently

2020-05-11 HKT 16:15
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  • Ocean Park runs out of cash, seeks HK$5.4bn urgently
The government is asking the Legislative Council to quickly approve a HK$5.4 billion plan to help Ocean Park stay afloat, saying the theme park will run out of cash in a couple of weeks time.

Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau warned that the amusement park is in dire straits after it was forced to stop receiving visitors in late January because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Yau said that HK$5.4 billion is needed to save the park from closing down, and that it will run out of cash as early as June.

The item has been put on the agenda of Legco's Finance Committee for this Friday's meeting, and the sum is to keep the park running for the next 12 months and to cover HK$3 billion worth of loans that are soon due to be repaid soon.

The amusement park had in January requested funding of HK$10.6 billion for a revamp to shore up its visitor numbers.

Yau said that this revised plan is different from the revamp plan which was aimed at making the park financially sustainable in the long-run.

"That was a plan to redevelop Ocean Park into the next stage," he said, referring to the January proposal. "But one thing has changed the whole scenario, which is the epidemic," he said.

"We need to give them contingency money so that they can keep the park running while we are sorting out the future."

"So there will be at a later stage another plan to take the park forward, but I think circumstances have required [us] to have a major rethink, in particular, taking into account the drastically changed business operations and tourism scene, which we have seen since Covid-19," the secretary said.

Last week, Ocean Park's chief executive Matthias Li said that the theme park would implement a cap on the number of daily visitors, but no date has been set for reopening.