Ocean Park recorded a deficit of HK$31.8 million for the year ending in June.
In fiscal 2020-21, revenue fell 45% year-on-year to HK$393 million.
The theme park blamed a drop in visitor numbers amid the pandemic. Visitor numbers fell 36% to 1.4 million as the park was closed for 146 days in the reporting period due to Covid-19.
Ocean Park received a government injection of HK$1.45 billion in 2020-21 to fund park operations and capital expenditure.
In its 2019-20 fiscal year, the park recorded a surplus of HK$1.92 billion thanks largely to a government injection of HK$3 billion.
“Despite a continued challenging operating environment, we have creatively redesigned the Ocean Park experience and experimented with new concepts that harness the endless potential of the park’s unique setting,” said Ivan Wong, CEO of Ocean Park Corporation.
Polytechnic University tourism professor Brian King said park management has done a good job of controlling costs.
“Obviously, that’s not a good number. But it could have been much worse, it reflects the tough business conditions for the tourism sector,” he said.
The government announced a major overhaul of the attraction earlier this year, which included waiving entry fees and turning the entire plain area into a shopping and dining area. Authorities said the overhaul will allow Ocean Park to return to profitability as early as 2024.
King said people need to be patient with Ocean Park’s transformation from a theme park to a resort and recreation destination.
“Water World will help us because it is a volume activity. And then they have this dynamic pricing, which allows them to increase their revenue,” he said.
“The reorganization of the park, with glamping and green stays, is not going to change income quickly. I think it will take time for the business model with retail and experiences to change the dynamic.