From an announcement released this week, a statement has been released by the Hong Kong Government in preparation to give away 500,000 free flights tickets to upcoming travellers to and from Hong Kong.
The move to give away 500,000 free flights to 2023 consumers was reported as a move in an attempt to revive Hong Kong’s tourist industry, which has been significantly damaged by the strict Covid-related restrictions put in place by the government over the past few years of the pandemic.
It is believed that the Airport Authority Hong Kong set aside an estimate of £225 million in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. This money was set aside to buy 500,000 flights from the airlines Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express, and Cathay Pacific for this exact purpose.
According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, these free airline tickets are going to be distributed in 2023 to all travellers coming in and out of the country. These will be given out by the city’s airport authority, who will then finalise these arrangements with the airlines in question.
The Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Dane Cheng, said, “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.”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic begin in 2020, Hong Kong was reporting around 56 million visitors a year to the city, however, across the first eight months of 2022, these numbers have dropped significantly to 184,000 visitors so far, prompting this move to boost the city once more with free flights.
A spokesperson for Airport Authority Hong Kong, briefly stated that they were working with the airlines to create these arrangements for next year, “Back in 2020 AAHK purchased around 500,000 air tickets in advance from Hong Kong’s home-based airlines as part of a relief package to support the aviation industry. The tickets will be given away to global visitors and Hong Kong residents in the market recovery campaign.”
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