Hong Kong to give away 500000 airline tickets to boost tourism recovery

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As both travel restrictions and covid-19 regulations decrease, Hong Kong wants to bring tourists back with the incentive “World of winners Ticket Giveaway”.

Before the pandemic, Hong Kong’s incoming tourists topped 56 million per year. Tourism contributed to 17,9% of Hong Kong’s GDP in 2019. The city then also attracted more international visitors than any other capital city in the world.

According to Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong tourism board, the territory first bought airline tickets in 2020 to alleviate some burden on airline companies.

The total cost of the tickets is superior to $300 million.

Now, it is time to use the tickets to promote tourism again, sponsored by the Hong Kong Airport Authority AAHK.

On February 1st, the Hong Kong Chief Executive launched the campaign “Hello Hong Kong” with the first ticket giveaway to take place on March 1st, 2023. The campaign as a whole bears a cost of $2 billion.

The Hong Kong authorities will release the tickets in various stages, and tickets will be available from May 2023 to European citizens. In total, the giveaway will last six months.

Hong Kong-based airlines, such as Cathay Pacific or Hong Kong Express, will distribute around 65% of the tickets via their direct channels and agents.  

Other tickets giveaway will take the form of lucky draws or “buy one get one free” promotion marketing.

The giveaway tickets are all round trip, economy class tickets.

Anyone tempted to join the giveaway will be able to register online from March 1st, for South East Asian countries citizens, and May 2023, for citizens of European countries, America, or North East Asia.

Cathay Pacific announced it would return to 70% of its capacity until the end of the year.

The “Hello Hong Kong” campaign also includes vouchers to discover the city, with one million voucher coupons handed to the tourist inquiry centers. These coupons can be used for drinks, tours, attractions, and retail, up to $18 each.

In addition to the ticket giveaway campaign, Hong Kong authorities welcomed front staff from Japanese travel agencies (JTB) to experience firsthand the city’s attractions in the post-pandemic era.

Hong Kong tourist board aims at gaining back Japanese visitors, but also Chinese from the Mainland. Chinese tourists accounted for 80% of total tourists in the city before the pandemic began.

But there are not just public incentives to revive tourism in the former British territory.

The Hong Kong Retail Association offers 2,5 million gifts and HK$ vouchers in specific department stores.

While waiting for tourists to return Hong Kong’s attractions, such as HK Disneyland and HK Ocean Park announced new hires (respectively 600 and 350).

Despite Mainland China’s opening for the Lunar New Year, Hong Kong was not the first choice destination for Chinese citizens and came long after Macao.

The city has high hopes for airline ticket giveaway and food vouchers to attract a new flow of tourists from South East Asia, and eventually from Europe or America.

For more information, consult the official giveaway site below:


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