The Airport Authority of Hong Kong announced that 2.1 million passengers — both inbound and outbound — used Hong Kong International Airport in February 2023. This is the first time that passenger figures in the airport crossed the 2-million mark since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in February 2020. Passenger traffic was also 24 times greater than the corresponding data for February 2022.

Authorities reported that Hong Kong residents accounted for the largest increases in passenger traffic last month. Data from the Immigration Department’s arrivals and departure records indicate that there were 458,655 arrivals and 438,646 departures attributed to Hong Kong residents during this time. There were also “significant increases” among passengers to and from Southeast Asia and Japan.

The Airport Authority says that “relaxation of travel restrictions” in Hong Kong contributed greatly to the increase of passenger traffic into and out of the SAR. In late December 2022, the government scrapped the vaccine pass requirement, while in January this year, the five-day compulsory home isolation period for positive patients was lifted. From February, authorities began allowing non-vaccinated tourists to enter the city.

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong Tourism Board reported that 1.42 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong in February 2023, which was the first time this figure crossed 1 million since the outbreak of the pandemic in the city. The tourism board also launched Hello Hong Kong, a campaign to encourage tourists from across the world to visit the SAR, the highlight of which is a 500,000 free ticket giveaway to visitors from across the world that began in early March.

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Header image credits: Leung Cho Pan 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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