The Hong Kong Tourism Board has announced that it will give away 500,000 plane tickets for free to attract tourists to the country after Covid. The free tickets to Hong Kong will cost the government HK2bn (€224.3m).
Hong Kong recently ended its mandatory requirement to quarantine after entering the country after three years. It was one of the strictest countries in the world, in terms of Covid-policy.
Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong tourism board said to the BBC: “The airport authority will finalise the arrangement with airline companies. Once the government announces it will remove all Covid-19 restrictions for inbound travellers, we’ll roll out the advertising campaigns for the free air tickets.”
It is understood the free tickets will be distributed next year.
Airlines serving Hong Kong have suffered in recent years due to Covid and recently due to the war in Ukraine after the closure of Russian airspace with Virgin Airlines announcing the closure of their Heathrow to Hong Kong route after 30 years earlier this week.
The Hong Kong government hopes that the free tickets will help boost tourism to the country. The East Asian city previously had huge numbers of tourists come to the country: in 2018 they recorded 65 million visitors and 55 million in 2019. However, these numbers have gone down significantly in recent years with only 3 million visiting the country in 2020. In the first eight months of this year, the country has only recorded 184,000 visitors.