Hong Kong giving away 500,000 free airline tickets to get tourists back
To get a ticket, aspiring visitors have to visit the World of Winners page starting on March 1 and enter their names to join the lottery for the flights
February 3, 2023 10:03pm
Updated: February 3, 2023 10:03pm
The government of Hong Kong announced on Thursday a plan to give away 500,000 airline tickets in an attempt to draw tourists back to the city after the pandemic.
The “Hello Hong Kong” initiative will distribute the tickets among the city’s three airlines, Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines, and will cost the city about $254.8 million.
To get a ticket, aspiring visitors have to visit the World of Winners page starting on March 1 and enter their names to join the lottery for the flights that will become available in July.
The giveaway will be phased out by region: visitors from Southeast Asia can enter the lottery starting March 1, followed by visitors from mainland China in April, and the rest of the world in May. the number of tickets for each region was allocated based on “traffic shares” and the number of visitors before the pandemic.
Some 80,000 tickets from the campaign have been reserved for Hong Kong residents and will be given out in the summer.
The funds for the initiative are part of a relief package that the government offered the airlines in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, the Hong Kong Tourism Board is also investing around $12 million to promote the campaign’s initial phase, which includes more than 250 special events.
“We hope those who secure the air tickets can bring two or three more relatives and friends to the city. Although we are just giving away 500,000 air tickets, we believe this can help bring Hong Kong over 1.5 million visitors,” said Fred Lam, CEO of Hong Kong’s airport authority.
Hong Kong used to draw tens of millions of visitors a year before the pandemic. However, the city followed mainland China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy and isolated itself from the rest of the world.