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Hong Kong is offering absent 500,000 airline tickets in an exertion to woo tourists back again to the location.
The city has rolled back again COVID travel restrictions in recent months such as required isolation on arrival.
Now it is hoping to bounce again from the substantial effect the pandemic had on its tourism marketplace. And component of Hong Kong’s prepare entails offering absent 500,00 airline tickets well worth extra than €250 million.
Again in October, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board Dane Cheng instructed the BBC that the cost-free tickets ended up to begin with bought to support airlines throughout the pandemic.
On Wednesday (1 February), Hong Kong’s Chief Government John Lee released the $2 billion (€1.8 bn) ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, with the flight ticket giveaway beginning on 1 March.
Hong Kong gained 56 million website visitors in 2019 – about seven situations its populace – just before the pandemic commenced. But its stringent COVID limits have kept site visitors away more than the earlier 3 decades, devastating the tourism sector and its economic climate. The city’s GDP previous year fell 3.5 for every cent from 2021, in accordance to the government’s provisional data.
How will Hong Kong’s cost-free ticket scheme function?
The giveaway will begin on March 1 and past for about six months, with tickets distributed in phases.
The totally free tickets will be distributed by Hong Kong-based mostly airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Categorical and Hong Kong Airlines, according to Fred Lam Tin-fuk, main govt officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
Tickets will be dispersed slowly on the airlines’ overseas platforms starting with Southeast Asian nations around the world, adopted by mainland China and Northeastern Asia, according to Time Out Hong Kong.
A further 80,000 free of charge air tickets will be supplied to Hong Kong inhabitants in the summertime, with a different 80,000 for those people dwelling in the Higher Bay Region.
Website visitors can also get pleasure from distinctive features and vouchers among other incentives in the town.
One particular million vouchers worthy of over HKD100 (€11.60) every single will provide special discounts on foods, beverages, transportation, hotels, retail and attractions. They will be dispersed at tourist inquiry counters located at four border checkpoints from 5pm on 2 February, in accordance to Time Out Hong Kong.
The metropolis will also host extra than 250 events and festivals all over 2023, from the Hong Kong Marathon to the Clockenflap new music festival, Art Basel and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
What are the entry necessities for Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has experienced some of the strictest principles for travellers during the pandemic.
The metropolis mainly aligned alone with mainland China’s ‘zero-COVID’ approach and has comfortable its entry regulations months slower than rivals these as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
In September, necessary quarantine on arrival was dropped. But even following Hong Kong reopened its border with mainland China in January, tourism restoration was sluggish.
Now, the policies have been calm even more. Readers no longer will need to self isolate on arrival, giving they test destructive for COVID.
Inbound visitors are matter to immediate antigen testing on arrival and once more on working day 5 of their take a look at. If you check good, you are expected to self isolate for five days in your lodge or accommodation.
Evidence of vaccination is also necessary for these more than 12 decades aged, unless of course you have proof of health-related causes why you cannot be vaccinated.
Hong Kong inhabitants who are not thoroughly vaccinated will be ready to enter Hong Kong. Non-inhabitants who are not absolutely vaccinated and have visited locations exterior mainland China, Macao or Taiwan within just the previous seven times, will be denied entry into Hong Kong.
To journey concerning Hong Kong and mainland China, a negative PCR take a look at taken no extra than 48 hours prior to departure is essential. If you are travelling via land border regulate points, you must make a quota reserving on the HKSARG’s on-line scheduling process. This is not demanded for air travel.
Virgin Atlantic stops flights to Hong Kong right after 30 a long time
The closure of Russian airspace just after the invasion of Ukraine means some airlines will not be resuming services to the metropolis.
Virgin Atlantic declared in autumn that it would be closing its places of work in Hong Kong after 30 yrs. Flights to the city were being suspended when the pandemic strike and had been because of to return as element of the 2023 summer months program.
The provider produced the choice to pull out of the Asian journey hub completely. Various things contributed to the conclusion which include the closure of Russian airspace including at the very least an hour to journey instances.
Prospects who experienced booked to travel to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic from March 2023 have been provided a refund, voucher or the selection to rebook on an alternate route with the airline.