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Hong Kong will give away half 1,000,000 aircraft tickets. This is who can get them first

Hong Kong’s new world promotional marketing campaign will “kickstart” the town’s reopening to worldwide vacationers, the Hong Kong Tourism Board instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Field Asia” on Friday. 

As a part of the “Hi there Hong Kong” marketing campaign, which was launched on Thursday, 500,000 air tickets might be given away over the subsequent six months, beginning in March.

The tickets might be given out by way of three Hong Kong’s carriers — Cathay Pacific, HK Categorical and Hong Kong Airways. 

Hong Kong plans to give away half a million air tickets to boost tourism

The free tickets are a part of the HK$2 billion ($255 milion) aid bundle that the federal government supplied to airways in 2020, through the top of the pandemic.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board can be investing a minimal of HK$100 million within the promotion of the marketing campaign’s preliminary section, it mentioned on the launch ceremony.

However Hong Kong nonetheless faces a “dilemma” — its infrastructure has some catching as much as do to accommodate the rise in guests, mentioned Dane Cheng, the tourism board’s government director.

“I feel this dilemma, we have now truly been seeing from different markets and locations once they began to reopen within the final yr or so. It is tough to catch up … notably for the airways, the airports and even resorts,” he instructed CNBC. 

“[But] you need to kickstart and … inform the world in a transparent message that Hong Kong after which mainland — we have now lastly reopened.”

How the tickets are allotted

The ticket giveaway might be phased: It should begin with Southeast Asian markets, adopted by mainland China and North Asia, and lastly, different elements of the world. 

Some 80,000 tickets have additionally been reserved for Hong Kong residents which authorities goal to present out in the summertime.

The variety of tickets for every area was primarily based on “visitors shares” and customer numbers from earlier than the pandemic, mentioned Cheng.

Fred Lam, the CEO of Hong Kong’s airport authority, additionally expects the free tickets to have multiplying results on the variety of guests.

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“We hope those that obtained the tickets will deliver 2-Three extra family and friends with them [to Hong Kong],” in keeping with CNBC’s translations of Lam’s feedback on the marketing campaign launch ceremony.

“Regardless that we’re solely giving out 500,000 air tickets, we consider it’s going to deliver in additional than 1.5 million incoming vacationers,” Lam added. That is about 10% of the entire variety of guests anticipated through the marketing campaign interval.

As for the way guests can get their arms on these free tickets, it’s going to rely upon “native market laws and customs,” he mentioned.

“[That] might embrace large-scale fortunate attracts, giving it out by way of a first-come-first serve foundation, providing buy-on-get-one free tickets, or by way of sport participations,” Lam mentioned.

‘Very clearly reopened’ 

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On Friday, China mentioned cross-border journey with Hong Kong and Macao would totally resume from Feb. 6, scrapping obligatory pre-departure assessments and lifting arrival quotas, in keeping with a Reuters report.

“I feel it’s totally clear that the Hong Kong authorities and likewise our mainland central authorities has been very prudent they usually [made] it very clear that every thing needs to be resumed in an orderly and progressive method,” mentioned Cheng. 

He added that earlier than the pandemic, Hong Kong had “over 25 million in a single day guests” every year, and it’ll take the town time to “get again” these numbers.

Return of MICE occasions in Hong Kong 

Cheng mentioned the previous two to 3 years have been “tough” for Hong Kong’s MICE (conferences, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) trade, which introduced in additional than 1.6 million abroad guests in 2019, earlier than the pandemic. 

“The final yr or so, different international locations and cities and locations have began opening up and naturally we have now some fantastic occasions which were in Hong Kong for years,” mentioned Cheng. 

“Anchor occasions [were] shifting out they usually apologize, ‘We’ll different locations in Southeast Asia, Center East,’ or some simply mainly postpone or defer.”

Nevertheless, he mentioned the town is now “assured” and “trying ahead to receiving guests” once more.

That may be seen by way of its “Hi there Hong Kong” marketing campaign, which has a 2023 lineup of greater than 250 occasions and festivals — together with the Hong Kong Marathon, the Clockenflap music pageant and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. 

There are additionally greater than 100 worldwide MICE occasions deliberate for the yr, mentioned the town’s tourism board. 

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