Hong Kong is giving away 5,00,000 airline tickets worth more than €250 million in an effort to woo tourists back to the region.
On February 1, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee launched the $2 billion (€1.8 bn) ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign. Under the campaign, flight tickets will be given away beginning March 1, going on for about six months, with tickets distributed in phases.
The city has rolled back several COVID-19 travel restrictions in recent months, including mandatory isolation on arrival. It now hopes to bounce back from the massive impact that the pandemic had on its tourism industry. The city’s GDP last year fell 3.5 per cent from 2021.
The free air tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines. Tickets will be distributed gradually on the airlines’ overseas platforms beginning with Southeast Asian countries, followed by mainland China and Northeastern Asia. The free air tickets include 80,000 tickets for Hong Kong residents, to be given in the summer, and 80,000 tickets for those living in the Greater Bay Area. Visitors can also enjoy special offers and vouchers among other incentives in the city.