Hong Kong is offering absent 500,000 airline tickets in an exertion to woo travellers back again to the area.
The tickets will be launched in levels from March and will be offered to Europeans from May onwards.
The metropolis has rolled again COVID vacation limitations in new months such as mandatory isolation on arrival. Journey to mainland China has just lately been manufactured seamless.
Now it is hoping to bounce back again from the large affect the pandemic experienced on its tourism field. And part of Hong Kong’s system consists of offering absent 500,00 airline tickets worth much more than €250 million.
Back again in October, govt director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board Dane Cheng advised the BBC that the absolutely free tickets ended up to begin with acquired to guidance airlines in the course of the pandemic.
On 1 February, Hong Kong’s Chief Govt John Lee introduced the $2 billion (€1.8 bn) ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, with the flight ticket giveaway starting up on 1 March.
Hong Kong acquired 56 million people in 2019 – above 7 periods its populace – just before the pandemic commenced. But its stringent COVID limits have retained readers absent above the previous three years, devastating the tourism sector and its economic system. The city’s GDP last 12 months fell 3.5 per cent from 2021, in accordance to the government’s provisional info.
How will Hong Kong’s cost-free ticket plan function?
The giveaway will get started on 1 March and last for about six months, with tickets produced in phases.
65 for each cent of the no cost tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong-based mostly airways Cathay Pacific, HK Convey and Hong Kong Airlines via their immediate channels or their brokers. The remaining tickets will be reserved for tourism-linked sectors to help inbound tourism and advertise Hong Kong.
The giveaway will consider many types, ranging from fortunate attracts, to first-appear-1st-served, to invest in one particular, get a person free.
Tickets will be distributed little by little on the airlines’ overseas platforms starting up with Southeast Asian nations around the world from March, followed by mainland China from April, and Northeast Asia, Europe and other marketplaces from May well.
As soon as the campaign launches, you will be ready to register for participation via the airlines’ internet sites. Back links to their selected webpages will also be stated on Hong Kong Airport’s website.
A further 80,000 free of charge outbound air tickets will be provided to Hong Kong citizens in July, with far more reserved for all those living in the Larger Bay Place. In overall, more than 700,000 tickets will be given absent.
All tickets will be spherical-journey overall economy class, and winners will be dependable for paying out all related surcharges, fees and taxes.
What discounts are readily available in Hong Kong?
Readers can also love special offers and vouchers among the other incentives in the town.
One particular million vouchers worthy of around HKD100 (€11.60) each and every will supply special discounts on meals, drinks, transportation, resorts, retail and sights. They will be dispersed at tourist inquiry counters positioned at 4 border checkpoints from 5pm on 2 February, in accordance to Time Out Hong Kong.
The city will also host extra than 250 situations and festivals in the course of 2023, from the Hong Kong Marathon to the Clockenflap music pageant, Artwork Basel and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
What are the entry needs for Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has experienced some of the strictest rules for travellers all over the pandemic.
The city mostly aligned alone with mainland China’s ‘zero-COVID’ technique and has relaxed its entry principles months slower than rivals these as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
In September, required quarantine on arrival was dropped. But even immediately after Hong Kong reopened its border with mainland China in January, tourism restoration was sluggish.
Now, the policies have been relaxed further. Visitors no more time want to self isolate on arrival, furnishing they take a look at damaging for COVID.
Inbound vacationers are topic to quick antigen screening on arrival and all over again on working day 5 of their check out. If you test beneficial, you are expected to self isolate for five days in your hotel or accommodation.
Proof of vaccination is also essential for those people more than 12 many years previous, until you have evidence of health-related reasons why you simply cannot be vaccinated.
Hong Kong people who are not totally vaccinated will be in a position to enter Hong Kong. Non-residents who are not entirely vaccinated and have frequented places outdoors mainland China, Macao or Taiwan in the previous 7 days, will be denied entry into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong completely reopens border with mainland China
From Monday 6 February, all travel limits concerning Hong Kong and mainland China will be dropped.
Till now a detrimental PCR check was necessary, as properly as pre-registration to get authorization to journey via land.
At a push conference Hong Kong’s Chief Government John Lee reported, “I am now announcing that the comprehensive border reopening among Hong Kong and the mainland will start on February 6, which is up coming Monday.
“A complete opening of the border signifies, firstly, that there will be no limit on the range of men and women at all border crossings, no want to make prior reservations, and you can travel freely as you want.
“Secondly, the necessity for pre-entry COVID-19 tests will be abolished, so that COVID and other checks will no lengthier be expected, and (folks) are cost-free to enter and leave. Thirdly, all immigration handle factors will be opened.”
Virgin Atlantic stops flights to Hong Kong following 30 several years
The closure of Russian airspace right after the invasion of Ukraine signifies some airlines will not be resuming services to the city.
Virgin Atlantic declared in autumn that it would be closing its places of work in Hong Kong soon after 30 years. Flights to the city ended up suspended when the pandemic strike and experienced been because of to return as portion of the 2023 summer timetable.
The carrier made the conclusion to pull out of the Asian travel hub completely. A number of things contributed to the choice such as the closure of Russian airspace adding at minimum an hour to journey occasions.
Customers who experienced booked to vacation to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic from March 2023 have been offered a refund, voucher or the option to rebook on an substitute route with the airline.