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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” town’s reopening to worldwide vacationers, the Hong Kong Tourism Board instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Field Asia” on Friday. 

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

The tickets will probably be given out via 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) reduction package deal that the federal government supplied to airways in 2020, in the course of the peak of the pandemic.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board can also be investing a minimal of HK$100 million within the promotion of the marketing campaign’s preliminary part, it stated 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, stated Dane Cheng, the tourism board’s govt director.

“I believe this dilemma, we now have truly been seeing from different markets and locations after they began to reopen within the final 12 months or so. It is tough to catch up … significantly for the airways, the airports and even inns,” he instructed CNBC. 

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

How the tickets are allotted

The ticket giveaway will probably be phased: It is going to begin with Southeast Asian markets, adopted by mainland China and North Asia, and lastly, different components of the world. 

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

The variety of tickets for every area was primarily based on “site visitors shares” and customer numbers from earlier than the pandemic, stated 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 convey 2-Three extra family and friends with them [to Hong Kong],” in line with CNBC’s translations of Lam’s feedback on the marketing campaign launch ceremony.

“Despite the fact that we’re solely giving out 500,000 air tickets, we imagine it is going to convey in additional than 1.5 million incoming vacationers,” Lam added. That is about 10% of the full variety of guests anticipated in the course of the marketing campaign interval.

As for the way guests can get their arms on these free tickets, it is going to rely upon “native market rules and customs,” he stated.

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

‘Very clearly reopened’ 

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

“I believe it is very clear that the Hong Kong authorities and likewise our mainland central authorities has been very prudent they usually [made] it very clear that every part desires to be resumed in an orderly and progressive method,” stated Cheng. 

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

Return of MICE occasions in Hong Kong 

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

“The final 12 months or so, different international locations and cities and locations have began opening up and naturally we now have some fantastic occasions which have been in Hong Kong for years,” stated Cheng. 

“Anchor occasions [were] transferring out they usually make an apology, ‘We’ll different locations in Southeast Asia, Center East,’ or some simply principally postpone or defer.”

Nonetheless, he stated town is now “assured” and “trying ahead to receiving guests” once more.

That may be seen via its “Whats up 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 12 months, stated town’s tourism board. 

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