Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu announced that the government will give away 500,000 free airline tickets to encourage tourists to come to Hong Kong in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boost the travel industry

Speaking at the launch of the Hello Hong Kong tourism promotional campaign on Thursday, Lee said, “We are going to give out 500,000 free air tickets to welcome visitors from Mainland China and the world to come to Hong Kong,” adding that there will be vouchers, special offers and other incentives for Hong Kong-bound tourists.

Hong Kong Chief Executive talks about the 500,000- airline ticket giveaway at the launch of Hell Hong Kong.

Speaking at the press conference after the Hello Hong Kong launch, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Fred Lam, said the free tickets for flights on Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines will be distributed to overseas visitors. Travellers will get economy-class round-trip tickets and will only have to pay taxes, fees and surcharges on them.

“The campaign will kick off on March 1 and last for six months,” said Lam, adding that the airlines will give out the tickets in different ways, such as lucky draws, buy-one-get-one-free campaigns, or promotional games.

Tickets for Hong Kong residents

The schedule of the free ticket distribution (© Hong Kong Tourism Board)

The tickets will be given to visitors from other countries in the following order based on Hong Kong’s pre-pandemic pattern of visitors:

  • From March 1, 2023: South East Asian countries (Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore)
  • From April 2023: Mainland China
  • From May 2023: North Asia and other parts of the world
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Hong Kong residents will get an additional 80,000 free tickets, said Lam, which will be distributed from July this year. Travellers from the Greater Bay Area will also get 80,000 free air tickets to encourage them to use the airport to enter Hong Kong. A portion of the 500,000 tickets will be reserved for trade, travel, and government bodies to promote tourism to the SAR.

Last year, the Hong Kong government announced that it will give away 500,000 airline tickets to encourage tourists to visit the city once its pandemic restrictions were removed. Since December 2022, the government has scrapped most of its anti-Covid measures, and most recently announced that unvaccinated tourists can enter the city from February 6.

Header image credits: Airplane: ytwong via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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