March 23, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Hong Kong: half a million air tickets for free

Do you want to visit Hong Kong? To attract tourists, they are holding an unprecedented promotion “Hello Hong Kong”: 500,000 air tickets will be distributed free of charge in order to attract tourists.

Government initiative

True, not everything is so simple, work on this initiative has been going on for two years, and on Thursday the authorities finally presented “their offspring.” The government has announced plans to give away half a million free air tickets as part of an effort to revitalize the tourism industry and attract visitors to the city. Free plane tickets will be distributed among three city airlines – Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines. The total cost of tickets is approximately $254.8 million.

Distribution nuances

Tourists wishing to visit Hong Kong need to visit the World of Winners page from March 1st. To participate in the draw, you must enter your name. Free tickets will be distributed in three stages:

  • from March 1, residents of Southeast Asia will take part in the drawing;
  • from April 1, residents of mainland China can apply to participate;
  • From May 1, free flights will be distributed to residents of the rest of the world.

Residents of Hong Kong will also be able to take part in an attractive promotion – some tickets are intended for them and will be issued from July 1. Thus, the authorities want to compensate for all the inconvenience caused to the residents of the city by quarantine due to the coronavirus. notes CNNi.

Unfortunately, potential tourists should prepare for the fact that they will see Hong Kong a little different. Some favorite local attractions, like the floating restaurant Jumbo Kingdom, have closed for good. And others, like the famous Peak tram, have changed during the pandemic.

How the pandemic has changed the city

During the coronavirus period, travel to and from Hong Kong has been difficult and expensive. Strict quarantines with three weeks of isolation and the requirement to pass numerous PCR tests have prevented most tourists from entering the country. At the same time, quarantine had to be carried out at the hotel and they had to pay for not only their accommodation there, but also the tests. If a positive test for covid was detected, patients were sent to state institutions. Entry into the city has been restricted to Hong Kong residents.

For comparison: if before the pandemic, 56 million people came to Hong Kong every year, then in 2022 this number dropped to 100,000. And it was not only foreign tourists who stayed away. The city experienced its largest population decline since 1961, at 1.6%. Only in September 2022, the head of the city administration, John Lee, announced the end of quarantine.

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