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Hong Kong spends P13B for tourism promo, gives away 500k free air tix 

by Jericho Zafra

SHOPPING in Hong Kong with free airline tickets? Why not!

As part of a global promotional campaign unveiled on Thursday, the Hong Kong government will give away 500,000 airline tickets in an effort to attract foreign tourists to the country.

The campaign was launched after Hong Kong eased its rigid COVID-19 restrictions in December.

COVID-19 economic blow

Just like everyone else, tourism in Hong Kong plunged to its lowest during the pandemic.

According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), there were roughly 600,000 individuals who arrived in the city in 2022. That is a far cry from the 65 million tourists it had in 2018.

But more than tourism, Hong Kong’s economy suffered the most from their own rigid COVID19 protocols. Around 4.5 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP is on tourism. The tourism industry also employed 257,000 people.

HHK free tickets

The “Hello Hong Kong” program, which includes the distribution of 500,000 free airline tickets to tourists from all over the world, was initiated by the government of Hong Kong and its chief executive, John Lee. 

Hong Kong government is infusing HK$2 billion (Php 13.6 billion) to projects to promote the return of Hong Kong to the international tourism scene. 

More than 250 large-scale events, including trade shows, conventions, festivals, and various other types of gatherings, will take place throughout the year as part of the Hello Hong Kong campaign.

According to Hong Kong reports, the campaign also aims to strengthen Hong Kong’s tourism and business industries while recruiting overseas investors.

“The ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign will focus on four major areas that will put the international spotlight on Hong Kong again,” Lee said during the opening ceremony

Who will be given and where are the tickets?

Before March 1, Hong Kong Express, Cathay Pacific, and Hong Kong Airlines will hand out a total of 500,000 airline tickets. 

Each airline will use its international platforms to systematically distribute the free tickets over the period of six months, beginning with the nations of Southeast Asia, then mainland China and Northeastern Asia, it said. 

It also added that later on, throughout the summer, an additional 80,000 free plane tickets will be given out to residents of Hong Kong, and another 80,000 free tickets will be distributed to residents of the Greater Bay Area.

PH flights to Hong Kong

As part of the loose restrictions imposed by the Hong Kong government to inbound passengers, local airline firm Cebu Pacific announced a P499 one-way base fare seat sale.

The airline is also flying four times in the country daily.

The promo ran until January 31, while the travel period is from June 1 to August 31, 2023, it said.

Cebu Pacific also said that at the time of check-in, passengers checking into Cebu Pacific flights are required to present either a negative result from an antigen test taken within the last 24 hours or a negative result from an RT-PCR carried out within the previous 48 hours. 

Inbound travelers are also required to bring proof of primary dose vaccination, especially non-Hong Kong residents who are 12 years old or older, it said.

COVID-19 test results can also be filed online via the Hong Kong government’s Health and Quarantine Information Declaration.



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