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Hong Kong Ocean Park records biggest deficit in nearly 30 years over sharp drop in guests

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-07 17:29

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Ocean Park recorded a deficit of HK$241.1 million ($31 million) for the 2015/16 fiscal year, the biggest in almost 30 years, mainly due to a sharp drop in attendance, the park said here on Wednesday.

The park received around 6 million guests for the year, down 18.8 percent year-on-year as tourist arrivals to Hong Kong further declined, the park said.

The deficit was the first since 2003 when Hong Kong's economy was battered by the SARS epidemic, and it was also the biggest deficit the park has recorded since 1987.

"The 2015/16 fiscal year was truly challenging, not just for Ocean Park, but for the local tourism and retail sectors at large," Leo Kung, Chairman of the park said.

He said the competitiveness of Hong Kong's tourism sector has come under pressure from factors ranging from unfavorable currency trends and economic downturns to negative perception arising from social issues.

Nevertheless, the park remains optimistic about the future. The theme park industry across Asia is maintaining a strong growth trajectory with dozens of new facilities in various stages of development, Kung said.

The growth of the industry as a whole is expected to spur continuing rise in the demand for theme park entertainment, especially among inland China's burgeoning middle-class, Kung added.

To ensure financial sustainability, the park will raise its admission fees by 13 percent from Jan 1, 2017. Tickets will cost HK$438 and HK$219 for adults and children, respectively, with a two-month grace period until Feb 28, 2017 for local residents.

Founded in 1977, the Ocean Park is Hong Kong's unique home grown theme park and has gained recognition for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. A total of more than 130 million people have visited the park.

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