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Hong Kong prepares HK$10.6B bailout package for embattled Ocean Park

Hong Kong's government unveiled a HK$10.6 billion bailout package plan for the financially strapped Ocean Park, with the amount earmarked for the theme park's refurbishment and expansion, the South China Morning Post reported Jan. 13, citing Edward Yau Tang-wah, the city's secretary for commerce and economic development.

Redevelopment plans for the tourist destination include the creation of seven zones and 20 attractions over the next seven years. It will also involve the upgrade or transformation of more than 10 existing attractions and the demolition of some existing attractions.

The bailout package for the theme park comes amid its expected cash flow deficit of more than HK$600 million in fiscal 2019-2020 and the impending maturity of HK$2.3 billion in commercial loans over the next two years. Ocean Park also has HK$3.67 billion in loans from the government that are due to be repaid in 2021.

The park said its number of visitors fell 30% year over year in the second half of 2019 during the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

The government expects Ocean Park's refurbishment will help attract more visitors, with the park expecting attendance to rise to 5 million people in fiscal 2022-2023 and to 7.5 million in fiscal 2027-2028, upon completion of the expansion.