Hong Kong is giving FREE 500 000 airline tickets to tempt tourists back

Hong Kong is tempting tourists back to its shores as the pandemic fades by giving free airline tickets. Once the city-final state’s coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the Hong Kong tourism board intends to give away 500,000 airline tickets worth the equivalent of HK$2 billion ($254.8 million).
“Once the government announces it will remove all COVID-19 restrictions for inbound travelers, we’ll roll out the advertising campaigns for the free air tickets,” Dane Cheng, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, told the BBC.
The tickets were purchased from airlines by the city state’s airport authority in 2020, as part of a relief package to support the aviation industry, while air travel was virtually grounded because of the pandemic.
The Hong Kong government imposed stringent travel regulations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. One of them was a two-week hotel quarantine for anyone entering the city-state.
When the requirements were particularly onerous for the crew, Cathay Pacific started paying pilots cash bonuses to fly into the city-state and between mainland China. The restrictions were loosened in September, but the city-state has seen a sharp decline in tourists.
Just over 183,600 people visited Hong Kong between January and August 2022, according to the latest figures published by the tourism board. While that’s a significant uptick on last year, it’s well below pre-pandemic figures of 56 million in 2019, per the BBC.

A spokesperson for Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) said the tickets will be given away to global visitors and residents.

“AAHK is working with the home-based airlines on relevant arrangements. Details will be announced in due course,” the spokesperson said.

The announcement follows news on Wednesday that Virgin Atlantic is ending its operations to and from the city-state because of operational challenges caused by the war in Ukraine.