Hong Kong–The Hong Kong government launched a global promotional campaign called “Hello Hong Kong” on February 2 and kickstarted it by announcing a giveaway of 500,000 free round-trip airline tickets to and from the city over the next six months.
The “Hello Hong Kong” initiative, aimed at showcasing recent developments and attractions to the global community, was inaugurated by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee Ka-Chiu, at a formal ceremony in Wan Chai.
Those interested in participating in the giveaway contest should visit the official page (on the dates mentioned below) and enter their names to participate in the lottery.
The distribution of tickets will occur in three phases:
- March 1 onwards to people across Southeast Asia,
- April 1 onwards to people living in mainland China and from
- May 1 onwards to people living in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world.
The method of allocation of tickets may include large-scale lucky draws, giving it out on a first-come-first-serve basis, offering buy-on-get-one free tickets, or through game participation.
In an interview, Dane Cheng, Executive Director of the Tourism Board, revealed that each region had a quota of tickets determined by “traffic shares” and according to the proportion of international visitors before the pandemic.
Apart from the 500,000 tickets, an additional 80,000 free tickets will be available for Hong Kong residents for outbound international travel this summer.
The tickets will be distributed through three of Hong Kong’s leading airline companies — Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines.
According to a report, the free tickets are part of the $255 million relief package the government offered airlines in 2020 when the pandemic was at its worst.
The ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign’s objective is to attract travelers to the once-financial capital of Asia (presently Singapore). As per data, before the pandemic, Hong Kong had an average of 60 million visitors annually, which fell to 90,000 in 2021, crushing the local economy and tourism sector.
Hong Kong opened its borders with the rest of China (one of the last countries to do so) after abandoning its zero-COVID policy in December last year.
Government regulations still require masking in public places and a negative test result (pre-departure) for international travelers (though some sources reveal that compulsory PCR testing might be scrapped soon).