Hong Kong will be giving away 500 free tickets starting March 000, 1!
The Hong Kong government will offer 500.000 free plane tickets to international travelers starting next month as part of a plan to promote Hong Kong tourism. The measure is taken to revitalize tourism after the pandemic and as mainland China relaxed its strict "covid-zero" policy.
Most of the airline tickets purchased by the Airport Authority in 2020 will be distributed by local airlines, while some will be handed out by travel agencies to international tourists.
At the same time, there will be a campaign called "Hello, Hong Kong" aimed at bringing the good news to the attention of Hong Kong residents and tourists, after tens of thousands of Hong Kongers left the city in the last two years.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan, Hubei, in January 2020, Hong Kong and mainland China have implemented the world's strictest quarantine and social distancing rules until the end of 2022. During that time, many foreign companies have moved Hong Kong branches to other countries, including Singapore, while thousands of residents left the city for good.
On Thursday (February 2), the Airport Authority announced that Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines will be giving away 500.000 free plane tickets through draws starting March 1.
Each winner is expected to be accompanied by two or three other companions, meaning the program will attract another million travelers to Hong Kong, said Fred Lam, chief executive of the Airport Authority.
Lam said the authority will provide an additional 80.000 free tickets to Hong Kong residents and another 80.000 to people living in other parts of the Greater Bay Area to travel abroad this summer.
The Tourism Board said it will also distribute at least one million vouchers worth more than HK$100 ($12,75), which tourists will use on drinks, food, shopping and transport.
With the relaxation of Covid rules, the number of visitor arrivals reached 605.000 in 2022, up from just 91.000 in 2021. In 2019, before the pandemic, the city received 56 million visitors, mostly from the mainland.
On January 8 this year, Hong Kong and mainland China resumed travel without quarantine. Since then, more than 700.000 visitors have traveled to the mainland, while more than 600.000 have entered Hong Kong. Some Chinese tourists have chosen to visit Macau over Hong Kong so they can skip PCR testing.