Hong Kong proposes 500,000 free air tickets to tempt tourists back

Hong Kong attracted around 56 million guests a year prior to the pandemic, and presently the popular destination is finding a way huge ways to win tourists back after more than two years of some of the world’s hardest travel limitations.

Only days in the wake of dropping its longstanding mandatory hotel quarantine necessity, Hong Kong has affirmed intends to give away half a million airline tickets in a bid to support tourism.

The move, first declared two years ago, was affirmed by a representative from the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), which said that the 500,000 tickets, worth around $254.8 million, would go to global guests, alongside residents.

“Back in 2020, Airport Authority Hong Kong purchased around 500,000 air tickets in advance from the territory’s home-based airlines as part of a relief package to support the aviation industry,” says the spokesperson.

“The purchase serves the purpose of injecting liquidity into the airlines upfront, while the tickets will be given away to global visitors and Hong Kong residents in the market recovery campaign.”

Further details will be reported once the applicable plans have been made with airlines, they said.

Hong Kong has been generally cut off from the rest of the world because of its Coronavirus quarantine rules, which at one phase expected incoming travelers to spend 21 days in a hotel room at their own expense, with just Hong Kong residents allowed entry.

The quarantine period had been decreased from seven to three days when it was officially rejected on September 26, provoking droves of residents to sign on to airline websites to book flights.

Cathay Pacific, the city’s flag carrier, set up a virtual “waiting room” to access its website at one point, while online travel booking service Expedia saw a nine-fold surge in look for flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo and 11-fold for flights from Hong Kong to Osaka – – despite the fact that interest in flights to Hong Kong stayed unchanged, as per Lavinia Rajaram, Expedia’s Asia head of public relations.

“We hope to give the maximum room to reconnect Hong Kong, and to revitalize our economy,” Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee said in a press conference on Friday.

Yet, while the hotel quarantine might have been lifted, guests to Hong Kong actually face different standards and limitations when showing up.

Incoming international travelers should present a pre-flight vaccination certificate, as well as a negative PCR test and rapid antigen test, prior to entering.

Whenever they’ve been allowed to enter, guests are expected to undergo a three-day self-monitoring period, during which time they’re precluded from eating in restaurants or visiting bars.

Guests likewise need to finish PCR tests on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and a rapid antigen test every day for seven days.