Hong Kong giving away 700,000 free airline tickets: Everything you need to know
In one of the ‘world’s biggest welcome ever’, Hong Kong is giving away 700,000 free airline tickets and at least 1 million spending vouchers to lure back visitors to the city after three years of isolation under stringent pandemic restrictions. The ‘Hello Hong Kong’ initiative was unveiled Thursday but has been in the works for more than two years.
How does the giveaway work?
Authorities will offer 700,000 free airline tickets between March 1 and September to travellers from across the world. Hong Kong’s three airlines – Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hongkong Airlines – will distribute 65% of them. The rest will be reserved for related sectors.
Almost 500,000 tickets will be reserved for overseas travellers. Airlines would use promotions, such as lucky draws, and games or competitions to give out the tickets. Interested travellers are advised to visit the World of Winners splash page starting March 1 to participate in the flight ticket lottery.
Some tickets will also be given out to interested Hong Kongers.
How do I get the spending vouchers?
The Hong Kong Tourism Board has also started giving away spending vouchers worth HK$100. The offer is for visitors staying in the city for 90 days or less. As the vouchers are limited in number, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Does Hong Kong have any Covid-related restrictions?
A mask mandate remains in place. Mainland China is expected to fully restore travel across its borders with Macau and Hong Kong on Monday, dropping Covid-19 restrictions and daily quotas imposed on arrivals, from either side.
In Hong Kong, vaccination requirements will be lifted for arrivals but pre-departure rapid antigen tests for overseas passengers will remain.
What events should I look out for?
People who have been to the special administrative region before are likely to find a different city than the one they have as a memory. Several new attractions have opened in the last couple of years and a variety of events are scheduled to take place in 2023, including the first Hong Kong Pop Culture Festival from April to December.