Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 airline tickets in an work to woo travellers back again to the location.
The metropolis has rolled back COVID vacation restrictions in new months together with mandatory isolation on arrival. It has just declared vacation to mainland China will be seamless from subsequent 7 days.
Now it is hoping to bounce back again from the enormous effects the pandemic experienced on its tourism marketplace. And part of Hong Kong’s plan requires giving absent 500,00 airline tickets worth more than €250 million.
Again in October, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board Dane Cheng explained to the BBC that the cost-free tickets were being to begin with acquired to support airlines throughout the pandemic.
On Wednesday (1 February), Hong Kong’s Chief Govt John Lee introduced the $2 billion (€1.8 bn) ‘Hello Hong Kong’ marketing campaign, with the flight ticket giveaway starting up on 1 March.
Hong Kong gained 56 million website visitors in 2019 – about 7 occasions its populace – just before the pandemic commenced. But its strict COVID limitations have retained people away around the earlier three a long time, devastating the tourism sector and its overall economy. The city’s GDP very last 12 months fell 3.5 for every cent from 2021, according to the government’s provisional data.
How will Hong Kong’s cost-free ticket plan do the job?
The giveaway will begin on March 1 and very last for about six months, with tickets dispersed in phases.
The free of charge tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airways, according to Fred Lam Tin-fuk, chief govt officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
Tickets will be dispersed progressively on the airlines’ overseas platforms starting with Southeast Asian nations, adopted by mainland China and Northeastern Asia, in accordance to Time Out Hong Kong.
A further 80,000 totally free air tickets will be supplied to Hong Kong residents in the summer season, with yet another 80,000 for those people dwelling in the Better Bay Location.
What savings are offered in Hong Kong?
Readers can also take pleasure in unique provides and vouchers amongst other incentives in the city.
A single million vouchers really worth in excess of HKD100 (€11.60) every single will deliver special discounts on foodstuff, drinks, transport, inns, retail and sights. They will be dispersed at tourist inquiry counters found at four border checkpoints from 5pm on 2 February, in accordance to Time Out Hong Kong.
The town will also host much more than 250 occasions and festivals all over 2023, from the Hong Kong Marathon to the Clockenflap music festival, Art Basel and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
What are the entry requirements for Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has experienced some of the strictest policies for travellers throughout the pandemic.
The metropolis largely aligned itself with mainland China’s ‘zero-COVID’ strategy and has relaxed its entry guidelines months slower than rivals these as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
In September, necessary quarantine on arrival was dropped. But even after Hong Kong reopened its border with mainland China in January, tourism restoration was sluggish.
Now, the guidelines have been peaceful more. Guests no for a longer time need to self isolate on arrival, supplying they exam adverse for COVID.
Inbound holidaymakers are issue to speedy antigen tests on arrival and yet again on working day 5 of their take a look at. If you exam favourable, you are necessary to self isolate for 5 days in your lodge or lodging.
Evidence of vaccination is also expected for people about 12 a long time aged, except you have evidence of clinical factors why you are unable to be vaccinated.
Hong Kong citizens who are not completely vaccinated will be in a position to enter Hong Kong. Non-inhabitants who are not completely vaccinated and have visited spots exterior mainland China, Macao or Taiwan inside the previous seven days, will be denied entry into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong totally reopens border with mainland China
From Monday 6 February, all journey restrictions between Hong Kong and mainland China will be dropped.
Right up until now a unfavorable PCR check was necessary, as properly as pre-registration to get permission to journey by using land.
At a push meeting Hong Kong’s Main Govt John Lee reported, “I am now announcing that the full border reopening concerning Hong Kong and the mainland will start off on February 6, which is subsequent Monday.
“A total opening of the border implies, first of all, that there will be no limit on the amount of individuals at all border crossings, no have to have to make prior reservations, and you can vacation freely as you want.
“Next, the prerequisite for pre-entry COVID-19 testing will be abolished, so that COVID and other exams will no for a longer period be essential, and (individuals) are free to enter and depart. Thirdly, all immigration handle factors will be opened.”
Virgin Atlantic stops flights to Hong Kong right after 30 yrs
The closure of Russian airspace just after the invasion of Ukraine signifies some airlines won’t be resuming solutions to the town.
Virgin Atlantic introduced in autumn that it would be closing its workplaces in Hong Kong following 30 many years. Flights to the town were being suspended when the pandemic hit and had been owing to return as part of the 2023 summer months agenda.
The carrier made the final decision to pull out of the Asian travel hub entirely. Numerous components contributed to the choice such as the closure of Russian airspace adding at least an hour to journey moments.
Prospects who experienced booked to journey to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic from March 2023 have been provided a refund, voucher or the option to rebook on an substitute route with the airline.