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Hong Kong will give away half 1,000,000 airplane 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 “Howdy 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 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) 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 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’ve 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 … notably for the airways, the airports and even motels,” he instructed CNBC. 

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

How the tickets are allotted

The ticket giveaway might be phased: It would 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 intention to provide out in the summertime.

The variety of tickets for every area was based mostly 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 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 consider it would convey in additional than 1.5 million incoming vacationers,” Lam added. That is about 10% of the overall variety of guests anticipated through the marketing campaign interval.

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

“[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 stated.

‘Very clearly reopened’ 

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

“I believe it is very clear that the Hong Kong authorities and in addition our mainland central authorities has been very prudent and so they [made] it very clear that the whole lot 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” every year, and it’ll take the town time to “get again” these numbers.

Return of MICE occasions in Hong Kong 

Cheng stated the previous two to a few 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 nations and cities and locations have began opening up and naturally we’ve some fantastic occasions which have been in Hong Kong for years,” stated Cheng. 

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

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

That may be seen by means of its “Howdy 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 the town’s tourism board. 

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