Hong Kong launches free airline ticket giveaway to reboot tourism

Cathay Pacific is one airline participating. Photo by Cathay Pacific Facebook.

Hong Kong’s government-supported “Hello, Hong Kong” ticket giveaway of half a million free airline tickets is swamping airline websites.

Cathay Pacific, one of the carriers participating in the programme, said it had allocated all 17,400 round-trip tickets from Thailand to Hong Kong within the first hour of the giveaway, even though it was scheduled to last seven days. The airline told AFP it was “very encouraged” by the enthusiastic response to the offer.

Hong Kong Airlines was another carrier to offer free flights through the scheme.

The giveaway comes as Hong Kong is pushing to restart its reputation as “Asia’s world city” and revive its pandemic-hit tourism sector. Hong Kong used to have one of the world’s

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Hong Kong has lifted most of its Covid-19 curbs, including the outdoor mask mandate, which was just lifted on Wednesday. Now, Hong Kong is on a mission to get back its tourists. The “Hello, Hong Kong” ticket giveaway, part of the city’s tourism campaign, is open to people around the world and will roll out over several months. The first stage of the giveaway offered round-trip flights from Southeast Asia. Hong Kong residents will be eligible for a separate campaign for 80,000 tickets to be rolled out in July.

The pandemic has had a major impact on Hong Kong’s tourism industry, which accounted for nearly 5% of the city’s economy before the pandemic. In 2022, visitor numbers plunged to 600,000, less than 1% of 2018 levels. The city’s strict pandemic-related travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, as well as its crackdown on political dissent, have also damaged its reputation as a global business hub. However, the city is slowly resuming normalcy, with the easing of travel restrictions and the rolling out of its vaccination campaign.

Last month, the Silver Spirit became the first international cruise liner to enter Hong Kong harbour in three years.

Hong Kong launches free airline ticket giveaway to reboot tourism | News by Thaiger

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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