Hong Kong has dropped most of its Covid-19 restrictions and recently started allowing unvaccinated tourists to enter the city. The SAR is now ready to welcome visitors to experience everything the city has to offer — from dim sum and street markets, to hikes and beaches. Read on to find out how you can win free airline tickets to and from Hong Kong, as well as complimentary drinks, cash vouchers, and other goodies.
What is Hello Hong Kong?
The government recently launched Hello Hong Kong, a promotional campaign to encourage tourists to visit the city. The biggest draw of the campaign is the giveaway of more than 700,000 free airline tickets to and from Hong Kong. It’s important to note that only 65% of these tickets will be given to travellers, while the rest are reserved for government bodies to promote tourism in the city.
The tickets will be for round-trip economy flights on three Hong Kong-based airlines: Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines. Travellers will only have to pay the taxes, surcharges, and fees that apply to them. There are other incentives for visitors, such as welcome drinks, cash vouchers, and gifts.
How can tourists get their free tickets?
Tourists will get 500,000 free tickets, which the airlines will distribute in different ways: buy-one-get-one-free promotions, lucky draws, competitive games, or on a first-come-first-served basis.
The campaign is called the “World of Winners” campaign, and those interested in getting these tickets should visit the airline websites to check when the offers kick off and subscribe to the newsletters to get reminders:
- https://www.hkexpress.com/en-hk/ (no specific page yet)
When can tourists get these free tickets?
The ticket giveaways will run from March 1, 2023 till September 2023. They will be distributed to travellers from different regions based on the pre-pandemic pattern of visitors to Hong Kong. Here is the schedule of when the tickets will become available to tourists:
- March 1 onwards: Southeast Asia (Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore)
- April onwards: Mainland China
- May onwards: Northeast Asia (Japan and South Korea) and other regions (the details of which countries come under the ‘other regions’ category will be released in May)
Cathay Pacific was the first airline to announce its giveaway schedule. It gave away 80,000 tickets to visitors from seven different countries in Southeast Asia, starting March 1. Residents of these countries had to either be a Cathay member or sign up for free membership on the airline’s website. They were then required to answer three questions correctly and the fastest to do so were eligible for the tickets. Announcements about the winners will be made depending on which country they live in.
Here is the giveaway schedule for Cathay’s Southeast Asia tickets:
|COUNTRY||SCHEDULE||NUMBER OF TICKETS|
In April, Cathay Pacific will begin a lucky draw campaign to distribute tickets to tourists from Mainland China and the Greater Bay Area:
- April 17-April 30: Tickets to Hong Kong for Mainland China visitors from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, and other Mainland cities except the Greater Bay Area
- April 24-April 30: Tickets to overseas destinations via Hong Kong International Airport for travellers from the Greater Bay Area
Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines is giving away 6,000 free round-trip economy tickets to Hong Kong from three cities in Southeast Asia. Travellers can win tickets from Bangkok, Hanoi, and Manila to the SAR on a first-come-first-served basis by participating in the airlines’ Click & Go initiative.
Phase 1 of the Click & Go scheme will run till March 15, and the winners can use the tickets between March 1 and October 26, 2023. Hong Kong Airlines will give the tickets away based on the following schedule:
|ROUTE||TRAVEL PERIOD||NUMBER OF TICKETS|
|Bangkok-Hong Kong||April 17-May 31||600|
|Bangkok-Hong Kong||June 1-June 27||400|
|Bangkok-Hong Kong||June 28-September 3||400|
|Bangkok-Hong Kong||September 4-October 26||600|
|Hanoi-Hong Kong||March 1-May 31||1,000|
|Hanoi-Hong Kong||June 1-October 26||1,000|
|Manila-Hong Kong||March 1-May 31||1,000|
|Manila-Hong Kong||June 1-October 26||1,000|
Each traveller can only win one ticket, which can only be used for a trip that is between two days and seven days long. Passengers aged below two years old are not eligible for a Click & Go ticket, while those between two and 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Budget carrier HK Express will begin its giveaway in April 2023.
Greater Bay Airlines
Greater Bay Airlines will begin distributing its free round-trip tickets to travellers from Taipei to Hong Kong in May 2023. The airline will follow this up with a giveaway for visitors from Seoul to Hong Kong in July.
How can Hongkongers get their tickets?
Hong Kong residents will get 80,000 free airline tickets from July 2023 onwards, and should check the airline websites to see when the giveaways will begin.
There were also 60,000 tickets distributed to encourage residents to get their Covid-19 vaccinations in 2021, and there will be additional tickets for travellers from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
World of Winners rewards
Tourists who win free airline tickets to Hong Kong as part of World of Winners campaign are also eligible for several rewards, which they can claim at various attractions, hotels, and malls across the city. The winners can claim their rewards as long as they present their World of Winners notification email upon making a booking or redeeming their prizes. The rewards include free upgrades to two-day tickets for Hong Kong Disneyland, discounts at various hotels in the city, and digital shopping vouchers at malls across the SAR.
Consumption vouchers for tourists
Visitors in Hong Kong for less than 90 days can get free drinks and great deals at restaurants, shops, and attractions as part of the HK Goodies programme.
- Complimentary drinks: Visitors can get one free drink each worth over HK$100 from more than 100 bars, restaurants, and hotels in Hong Kong, including Argo, which made Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2022.
- Cash vouchers: Tourists can get HK$100 off at any one of over 120 restaurants, shops or attractions in the city, without needing to meet a minimum-spend requirement.
- Gifts: Travellers to Hong Kong van get an exclusive gift worth over HK$100 at several attractions and museums the city to take back home as souvenirs.
The coupons are valid for 30 days after visitors get them. Once they expire, they will not be reissued. The F&B offers are only valid for dine-in, not takeaway or home delivery.
New consumption vouchers for visitors
- Visitors are also eligible for 300,000 free and discounted tickets on MTR-run trains in the city, from March 28. Tourists will get 100,000 single-journey tickets on the Airport Express worth HK$115 each, from or to Hong Kong Station. They can also get 100,000 MTR adult tourist day passes with a value of HK$130 for two passes. Travellers on the High Speed Rail can claim 100,000 coupons with a discount of RMB120 covering four coupons.
- The Hong Kong Jockey Club is handing out 2,000 tourist packages worth HK$430, each of which includes a tourist badge, food and beverage coupons and discount coupons for souvenirs of the racecourse and horse-riding. These offers can be claimed on race days at the Happy Valley Racecourse or Sha Tin Racecourse.
Where to get the vouchers?
Travellers can head to any one of the following Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centres to pick up their vouchers:
- Hong Kong International Airport Visitor Centre
- Kowloon Visitor Centre
- Hong Kong West Kowloon Visitor Centre
- Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port Visitor Centre
- Heung Yuen Wai Visitor Centre
Alternatively, visitors planning their trips to Hong Kong can make travel arrangements using these online travel portals and travel agents and collect their vouchers from them, starting February 15.
How to redeem HK Goodies?
Visitors can only redeem these offers once with a non-Hong Kong mobile phone number by:
- Scanning the QR code on their redemption cards with their non-Hong Kong mobile number to register an account.
- Selecting the Hong Kong Goodies visitor consumption voucher of their choice, and choosing the bar, hotel, restaurant or attraction that they wish to redeem the voucher at.
- Using the coupon by scanning the Hong Kong Tourism Board QR code at the merchant’s physical store.
You can register for the Hong Kong goodies before you arrive in the city by logging into the Hong Kong Tourism Board website.
What are the current Covid restrictions to enter Hong Kong?
Hong Kong began relaxing its anti-epidemic restrictions at the end of 2022, and most recently began allowing unvaccinated tourists to enter the city and not enforcing home or hospital isolation for Covid-19 patients. The quarantine on arrival has also been scrapped in 2022.
The only restriction that remains is the rapid antigen testing requirement for all international arrivals.
From March 1, mask-wearing is no longer compulsory on Cathay Pacific Flights, at schools, and on the MTR. However, anyone who enters a government-run hospital or healthcare facility must wear a mask.
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Header image credits: GovHK