World’s Largest Floating Restaurant Closing in Hong Kong today until further notice, after forty-four years of operation. What’s happened to Jumbo Kingdom?
Jumbo Kingdom – the World’s largest floating restaurant closing news announced on facebook yesterday. And it’s heartbreaking to many hongkongers.
Over several decades, Jumbo Floating Restaurant has not only been part of the Aberdeen scenery, but also an iconic restaurant in Hong Kong.
History of Floating Restaurants in Hong Kong
After World War 2, floating restaurants appeared in the typhoon shelter. Famous ones such as the Sea Palace, Tai Pak and Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
Apart from dining, floating restaurants have successfully created an exceptional filming scene. For instance, the Sea Palace was featured in “The World of Suzie Wong” and James Bond film.
However, changes of ownership have also changed the history of floating restaurants.
Sea Palace was sold and towed to Australia. Tai Pak was then sold to the owner of Jumbo Floating Restaurant. In 1976, the amalgamation of Jumbo and Tai Pak has become “Jumbo Kingdom”.
About Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Jumbo Floating Restaurant was once on fire by early 1970s, Then it underwent a renovation and re-opened in 1976.
The Jumbo seats more than 2,000 diners. It’s also one of the World’s largest floating restaurants.
In 2003, Jumbo Kingdom went through another renovation. Finally, it turned out into a floating theme park with shopping, sightseeing as well as dining.
However, the Jumbo was back to a huge Chinese restaurant again after 10 years. Besides, it has conference and banqueting facilities. Its decor is also a magnet for tourists.
Current owner announced a plan of refurbishment two years ago. Unfortunately, it has never happened before closing!
What Caused the Floating Restaurant Closing?
Jumbo Floating Restaurant has witnessed Hong Kong’s up and downs for decades. It could ride over the tide of SARS in 2003, but not the hit by Coronavirus.
Since last July, anti-government protests led to a steep decline of tourists to Hong Kong. Indeed, Coronavirus outbreak has brought a double whammy to Hong Kong. Meanwhile, number of visitors has plummeted to 3,000 per day.
Furthermore, the virus spread has led to conference and event cancellations. Virus fear has kept people away from dining venues too.
Recently, HK Government has announced cash subsidy to FB industry. But for large restaurants, the subsidy can hardly soothe their pain.