In order to attract visitors to the city, Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 free air tickets and is welcoming people from around the world to come and experience the city’s hospitality in person.
The tickets worth about €250 million, will be handed out in three phases, it will start with Southeast Asian markets from March 1 to April 1, followed by mainland China and North Asia until May 1 and then the rest of the world. The move is part of “Hello Hong Kong” campaign, launched this week to boost and revitalise the tourism sector and city’s economy.
As per statistics, Hong Kong was one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving an average of 56 million visitors annually. However, due to the pandemic and associated travel restrictions the number of international visitor arrivals declined dramatically in 2020 and 2021, reaching only about 91,400 in 2021. Meanwhile the city has eased its entry rules, dropping quarantine, and from February 6 the border between Hong Kong and the mainland will fully reopen.
Alongside with the plane tickets, the campaign has special offers and vouchers among other incentives, and a line-up of more than 250 events and festivals. “Hong Kong is back on the map for global travellers, with more excitement to offer than ever before. We are extending a biggest welcome to the world through the ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, inviting friends from everywhere as they return to one of the world’s greatest tourism destinations. I am confident that Hong Kong’s vibrant east-meets-west culture, together with our iconic and brand-new attractions and immersive experiences will attract travellers back for an epic, unforgettable journey,” said Dr Pang Yiu-kai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).
Hong Kong offers a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, “from conquering mountain trails to exploring neon-lit streetscapes”, “from ancient temples to glistening skyscrapers” and from bustling city markets to seaside villages, there is something for everyone.