After the negative impact on the tourism industry brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong is fighting back to show the world it is more vibrant than ever as it sends its biggest welcome to travelers across the globe.
On Feb. 2, the “Hello Hong Kong” promotional campaign was officially launched, revealing that half a million free air tickets are to be given away as part of wooing back tourists to visit the region after over two years of steep decline in visitors due to the inevitable lockdowns and strict pandemic protocols.
“We are extending a biggest welcome to the world through the ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, inviting friends from everywhere as they return to one of the world’s greatest tourism destinations. I am confident that Hong Kong’s vibrant east-meets-west culture, together with our iconic and brand-new attractions and immersive experiences will attract travellers back for an epic, unforgettable journey,” Dr Pang Yiu-kai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said during the launch.
FREE AIR TICKETS
Starting March 1 until September 2023, the 500,000 free tickets will be given away by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) to different markets through three of its home-based carriers namely Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines in three phases:
- March: Southeast Asia
- April: China
- May: Northeast Asia & other countries
The unprecedented giveaway is also seen as a recovery campaign for heavily affected sectors in the travel industry, as the free tickets to be given away were purchased by the government in 2020 during the height of the pandemic to help sustain the struggling airline businesses, investing HK$2 billion ($255 million) for this relief package.
Eager globetrotters can get their hands on these tickets through multiple ways: lucky draws, first-come-first-serve, or buy one get one free type of promotions, depending on the mechanisms of the three airlines mentioned earlier.
Travelers may also visit the Hong Kong International Airport’s World of Winners website to know more details and to access the official sites of registration to participate in the promo.
The government expects the strategy to generate more visitors and to uplift the economy as ticket winners explore the city with their friends and family.
“Even though we are only giving out 500,000 air tickets, we believe it will bring in more than 1.5 million incoming tourists,” Fred Lam, CEO of Hong Kong’s airport authority, said.
HONG KONG GOODIES
The Hong Kong Tourism Board is also investing a minimum of HK$100 million in its “Hong Kong Goodies” visitor consumption vouchers, which visitors can claim at more than 100 participating shops, restaurants, hotels, and attractions to get either complimentary welcome drinks, a cash voucher, or an exclusive memorabilia.
More details regarding this and how to claim these goodies through the official app when you visit Hong Kong can be found here.
NEW ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS
Several changes have happened in the city of Hong Kong during the past years as well. Fresh and upgraded developments will entice newcomers and past visitors alike to explore attractions such as the M+ and Hong Kong Palace Museum at the West Kowloon Cultural District, the new sixth-generation Peak Tram, Water World Ocean Park, new night-time show “Momentous” at Hong Kong Disneyland and enhanced waterfront promenades offering spectacular new ways to admire Victoria Harbour.
Aside from these, more than 250 events and festivals are lined up for this year including the Hong Kong Marathon, the Clockenflap music festival, Art Basel, the Museum Summit 2023, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and New Year Countdown Celebrations, showcasing the dynamic and diverse appeal of the city.