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The events of the past few years haven’t exactly made Hong Kong a booming tourism destination. From the widespread protests in response to Beijing’s growing power over the city to the strict Covid-19 lockdowns and quarantines, few have chosen Hong Kong as a vacation destination.
The Hong Kong government wants travelers to know that things are changing. As part of its “Hello Hong Kong” initiative, they're giving away 500,000 round-trip airline tickets to revive the struggling tourism sector. The tickets will be distributed via a lottery system, with priority given to residents of Southeast Asian nations this month, followed by mainland China residents next month. Prospective travelers from the rest of the world will be able to enter the lottery in May. In July, Hong Kong residents will be eligible to win flights departing from the city.
Fancy a trip?
- In an effort to support the aviation industry, the tickets were purchased by Airport Authority Hong Kong back in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic essentially froze airline travel. It cost over $250 million. Tickets will be available from Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines. In addition to the complimentary airfare, the Hong Kong tourism board is giving away one million food, entertainment, and transportation vouchers.
- Hong Kong’s response to the coronavirus was notably strict. Travelers had to undergo a hotel quarantine of up to 21 days, at their own expense, and for many months only city residents were allowed in, after several negative PCR tests, of course.
- Hong Kong’s tourism industry is in desperate need of a boost. The city welcomed 56 million visitors in 2019. Only 600,000 visitors arrived last year.
- Those interested in taking part should visit Hong Kong International Airport’s “World of Winners” page for all the details on the promotion. Winners must be over 18 and will still be liable for paying taxes and fees.