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Govt announces Ocean Park plan

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government today announced the proposed way forward for Ocean Park to transform it into a new resort and leisure destination.   The proposal aims to offer a new experience for both the local community and visitors by making full use of the park’s unique geographical location, connection with other attractions and overall developments in Southern District as well as its rich and leading experience in education and conservation.   The proposed way forward suggests creating a non-ticketed retail, dining, and entertainment zone at the lower park area.   Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau provided more details about the proposal at a press conference this afternoon and explained that such changes may increase revenue and job opportunities for the park.   Mr Yau said: “For (Ocean Park) itself, the reform or rejuvenation would bring multiple revenue sources into the park, instead of counting on ticket (sales). It would also allow collaboration where, through outsourcing or collaboration, they can bring (in) money - both in capital outlay or profit sharing. So this is another way.   “It (would) also keep the park running, which will definitely save jobs. Currently, I think, the park has around 2,000 full-time jobs and another 2,000 part-time jobs.   “If we are able to save the park and also embark on a new area, it could certainly save jobs and open up new job opportunities - particularly when the Water World is to be opened - that would allow more jobs to be created, not to mention, bringing in entertainment, performances or other retail businesses.   “So, in a way, we are helping the park, also helping Hong Kong's local economy. This is the rationale behind the financial package.”   The Government will provide Ocean Park with financial arrangements that include the commencement of the repayments of two Government loans, a total of $5.4 billion, to be deferred to the 2028-29 financial year.   A non-recurrent funding of some $1.67 billion, which is equivalent to the one-year operation cost of Ocean Park, will be provided to help it meet the projected amount of cash shortage in the coming financial years, to mitigate the uncertainty on whether attendance recovery would take place as forecast.   Maximum financial assistance of $1.12 billion in total will be provided to the park for four financial years starting from 2022-23 to support its education and conservation initiatives in the future strategy.
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