Hong Kong ‘s iconic floating restaurant sinks in the South China Sea Business and economics

The famous tourist attraction overturned near the Paracel Islands after facing “adverse conditions”.

The floating Jumbo restaurant, once a famous but financially difficult tourist attraction in Hong Kong, sank in the South China Sea after being withdrawn from the city, the parent company said.

He overturned near the Paracel Islands on Sunday after “encountering adverse conditions” and began drinking water, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said in a statement Monday.

“The depth of the water at the scene is over 1,000 meters, which makes it difficult to carry out rescue operations,” he added.

The company said it was “very saddened by the incident” but that no crew members were injured.

It says marine engineers have been hired to inspect the floating restaurant and install the ship’s liners before the voyage, and that “all relevant approvals” have been obtained.

The restaurant closed in March 2020, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the last straw after nearly a decade of financial trouble.

Operator Melco International Development said last month that the business has not been profitable since 2013, and the cumulative losses have exceeded Hong Kong $ 100 million ($ 12.7 million).

It still cost millions in maintenance fees each year, and about a dozen companies and organizations had declined an invitation to take it for free, Melko added.

He announced last month that before his license expires in June, Jumbo will leave Hong Kong and wait for a new operator in an undisclosed location.

The restaurant left shortly before noon last Tuesday from the typhoon shelter on Hong Kong Island, where it had been for nearly half a century.

Discovered in 1976 by the late casino mogul Stanley Ho, it embodies the height of luxury in its heyday, reportedly costing more than Hong Kong $ 30 million ($ 3.8 million) to build.

Designed as a Chinese imperial palace and once considered a must-see, the restaurant has attracted visitors from Queen Elizabeth II to Tom Cruise.

He has also starred in several films, including Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, about a deadly global pandemic.

Jumbo’s departure from Hong Kong was met with regret and nostalgia by many Hong Kong residents.

Some online commentators have described photos of the floating palace floating across the coal-bearing ocean to the horizon as a metaphor for Hong Kong’s future.

The city has seen severe pandemic restrictions jeopardize its status as an international center, while a national security law imposed by Beijing stifled dissent, transforming Hong Kong into China’s authoritarian image.

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