This aerial view shows various attractions and the Hair Raiser roller coaster (centre R) at the currently closed local theme park Ocean Park in Hong Kong on May 19, 2020. The theme park is currently seeking a huge financial bailout from the government. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
HONG KONG - China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Thursday that it planned to reposition Ocean Park to highlight its core strengths on conservation and education as well as its natural environment as a seaside resort.
We consider that Ocean Park in future should focus on leveraging its rich and leading experience in education and conservation, capitalizing on its innate advantages, and devoting itself to relevant research and public promotion work
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR government
After failing again to decide whether to approve the government's proposed urgent bailout of over HK$54 billion (around US$697 million) to keep the 43-year-old theme park afloat over next 12 months, the HKSAR Legislative Council (LegCo) Finance Committee will hold a third meeting on Friday to continue discussions on the issue.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR government Edward Yau released a supplementary report on the park's repositioning, which will be presented on Friday's meeting.
In the future, the theme park should steer away from the conventional development model of theme parks and scale down its rides which incur high maintenance costs, Yau said.
"We consider that Ocean Park in future should focus on leveraging its rich and leading experience in education and conservation, capitalizing on its innate advantages, and devoting itself to relevant research and public promotion work," he said.
As a tourism destination surrounded by hills and overlooking the sea, Ocean Park has great potential to develop further into a major resort and leisure destination and drive economic development in Hong Kong and Hong Kong's Southern District, Yau added.
Based on the repositioning plan, he said the HKSAR government will further review and adjust Ocean Park's operation model together with its functions and legal framework to provide greater flexibility for its operations and increase revenue and contain costs, so that it would not depend on government funding.
Yau called on the LegCo Finance Committee to approve as soon as possible funding for the park so that it could maintain its operations and preserve the jobs of more than 2,000 employees.
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