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

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

The tickets will likely be given out by means 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) reduction package deal that the federal government supplied to airways in 2020, in the course of the top 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 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 govt director.

“I believe this dilemma, now we 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 motels,” he advised CNBC. 

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

How the tickets are allotted

The ticket giveaway will likely 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 provide out in the summertime.

The variety of tickets for every area was based mostly 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 acquired the tickets will convey 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.

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

As for a way guests can get their arms on these free tickets, it would rely upon “native market laws and customs,” he mentioned.

“[That] might embody large-scale fortunate attracts, giving it out by means of a first-come-first serve foundation, providing buy-on-get-one free tickets, or by means 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 absolutely resume from Feb. 6, scrapping obligatory pre-departure checks and lifting arrival quotas, in keeping with a Reuters report.

“I believe 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 all the things desires 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 12 months or so, different international locations and cities and locations have began opening up and naturally now we have some fantastic occasions which were in Hong Kong for years,” mentioned Cheng. 

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

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

That may be seen by means of its “Hiya 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 competition and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. 

There are additionally greater than 100 worldwide MICE occasions deliberate for the 12 months, mentioned the town’s tourism board. 

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