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Hong Kong is Giving Away 500,000 Free Flights. Claim Yours Now!

Hong Kong, like many other destinations around the world, has suffered a significant decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to bring back tourists and revitalize the industry, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has announced a new initiative that offers 500,000 free roundtrip flights to the city. The plan is aimed at boosting the city's image as a safe destination and encouraging visitors to return to Hong Kong after a difficult period.

Hong Kong's New Campaign to Woo Back Tourists. Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board


The initiative, beautifully named "Hello Hong Kong" which has been in the works for over two years, was unveiled in January 2023.


The Hello Hong Kong initiative was unveiled on Thursday but has been in the works for over two years.


65 per cent of the free tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong's three largest airlines -

  • Cathay Pacific,

  • HK Express, and

  • Hongkong Airlines.

The remainder will be reserved for tourism-related sectors to support tourism and promote Hong Kong. It is estimated that the 500,000 tickets cost the city roughly $254.8 million.


In addition, Hong Kong has recently rolled back its COVID travel restrictions including mandatory isolation upon arrival. Now, travel to mainland China is quite seamless.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY


Travelers can visit the World of Winners page starting on March 1 to enter their names for the flight ticket lottery.


The 500,000 tickets will be released in 3 stages:


March 1: Southeast Asian countries

April 1: Mainland China

May 1: Northeast Asia & The Rest of the World


Noted:

  • The giveaway ranges from lucky draws, to first-come-first-served, to buy one, get one free.

  • Once the giveaway launches on March 1, travelers can register on the participating airlines' websites.

  • Another 80,000 free outbound air tickets will be given away to Hong Kong residents in July 2023, with many more reserved for folks living in the Greater Bay Area. Totally, that's more than 700,000 air tickets will be given away.

  • All tickets will be round-trip economy class with free check-in luggage, and winners are responsible for paying all related surcharges, fees, and taxes.

Travelers Can Sign Up on March 1 for Free Flights to Hong Kong. Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board


DISCOUNTS & PROMOTIONS IN HONG KONG


Vouchers: 1 million vouchers worth over $11 each will be given for discounts on food, drinks, transport, hotel, retail, and attractions. Vouchers will be distributed at tourist counters located at Hong Kong's four border checkpoints from 5pm on February 2.


Events: The city is hosting more than 250 events and festivals in 2023, from the Hong Kong Marathon to the Clockenflap music festival, Art Basel, and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.


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HONG KONG TOURISM NUMBERS


Before the pandemic, Hong Kong welcomed 56 million visitors a year. By 2022, that number fell to about 100,000. The city's financial hub experienced its largest population drop since 1961, going down 1.6%

Hong Kong Food Festival in December 2022. Source: Smart Iting.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR HONG KONG


Hong Kong and China were notorious for their strict "zero-COVID" policy throughout the pandemic. The city has relaxed its entry rules, given they were much slower than rivals such as Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan.

Hong Kong Was Overwhelmed by COVID-19 Cases. Source: AP


In September 2022, mandatory quarantine on arrival was dropped. However, inbound visitors are still subject to mandatory rapid antigen testing on arrival and again on day 5 of their visit. If tested positive, visitors are required to self-isolate in their hotel or accommodation.


Proof of vaccination is also a must for those over 12 years old unless there is proof of medical reasons for non-vaccination.


Not Fully Vaccinated:

  • If you're a Hong Kong resident, you will be able to enter Hong Kong.

  • Not a Hong Kong resident and have visited places outside of mainland China, Macao, or Taiwan within the past 7 days, will be DENIED entry.


Hong Kong residents who are not fully vaccinated will be able to enter Hong Kong. Non-residents who are not fully vaccinated and have visited places outside mainland China, Macao or Taiwan within the past seven days, will be denied entry into Hong Kong.

HONG KONG FULLY REOPENED BORDER WITH MAINLAND CHINA

At a press conference Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee said,


"I am now announcing that the full border reopening between Hong Kong and the mainland will begin on February 6, which is next Monday.


"A full opening of the border means, firstly, that there will be no limit on the number of people at all border crossings, no need to make prior reservations, and you can travel freely as you want.


"Secondly, the requirement for pre-entry COVID-19 testing will be abolished, so that COVID and other tests will no longer be required, and (people) are free to enter and leave. Thirdly, all immigration control points will be opened."

















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