Hong Kong To Give 500K Free Flights To Tourists

Hong Kong To Give 500K Free Flights To Tourists

61

My favorite city in the world (or at least what was once my favorite city in the world… I’m not so sure anymore) is planning a pretty drastic marketing stunt to lure tourists. However, what I’m most excited about isn’t the free tickets as such, but rather the implications…

Hong Kong to lure tourists with free airplane tickets

Hong Kong recently scrapped its quarantine requirement after around 2.5 years. While that’s a step in the right direction, Hong Kong still isn’t a place most travelers will want to visit for now, given the endless testing requirements, and the limits on movement for the first three days of your stay.

Fortunately Hong Kong seems to be preparing to ease restrictions further, and it has quite a plan to entice visitors. Hong Kong is expected to give away 500,000 airplane tickets to tourists once the government removes all remaining travel restrictions.

The government allegedly purchased these tickets back in 2020 (presumably in support of Cathay Pacific, and maybe some other local airlines), and plans to use them once there’s a full tourist reopening. The government estimates that it will take three to six months for tourists to return to Hong Kong in large numbers after restrictions are lifted, so this is intended to speed up the process.

The exact details of how these tickets will be awarded remains to be seen. For that matter, I’m curious about the restrictions with the tickets, if they’re from certain destinations, etc.

Just for context on Hong Kong’s drop in visitors, the destination saw just 184,000 visitors in the first eight months of 2022, while in 2019 Hong Kong saw 56 million visitors.

Hong Kong will be giving away free flights to visitors

Hong Kong planning on a full tourist reopening?

What I’m most excited about with this development isn’t the fact that the government is giving away 500,000 tickets, but rather that there seems to be a plan for Hong Kong to fully reopen to tourists at some point.

It’s rumored that Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee may announce plans for travel restrictions to return to normal during his October policy address, expected to take place on October 19, 2022. That’s assuming the current pandemic situation doesn’t get significantly worse.

This would involve Hong Kong scrapping remaining restrictions on inbound international travelers, including not limiting movement for the first three days, and having to test for the first seven days.

I’m sure I’m not alone in having spent the past couple of years wondering if Hong Kong would ever return to normal in terms of travel restrictions, given the influence of mainland China. It’s finally looking increasingly likely that Hong Kong will indeed fully reopen.

Not only have virtually all other places (except mainland China) lifted most pandemic travel restrictions, but Hong Kong is now semi-open, so seems to have given up on a zero tolerance approach toward coronavirus, and on aligning with mainland China. At this point it seems likely to me that Hong Kong restrictions will likely be lifted before the end of the year.

Hopefully visiting Hong Kong is practical again soon!

Bottom line

The government of Hong Kong is planning on giving away 500K airline tickets once pandemic related travel restrictions are lifted. While that’s a cool promotion in and of itself, the most exciting development is that it’s looking increasingly likely that Hong Kong will lift remaining travel restrictions in the coming weeks.

Oh, how nice it would be to once again be able to have a stopover in Hong Kong enroute to another destination. Hopefully that’s possible before Alaska Mileage Plan changes its award structure. 😉

Anyone share my optimism for Hong Kong fully reopening?

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  1. MMF Guest

    How “closed “ has Hong Kong really been ? I have friends and acquaintances who have been carrying on business as usual for quite some time! They even run their own thriving businesses!
    Beware of fake news! And … oh yes! They can even worship in Christian churches!

    1. Bob Guest

      Haha wow that’s totally untrue

  2. Toni Montgomery Guest

    I want to go and visit my daughter. How do I find out more about the free tickets? Will they be round-trip tickets?

  3. Campuscoll Guest

    How is one supposed to get these free tickets? Why announce a "free" giveaway and not explain when and how to obtain these free tickets?

  4. Jose Reyes Guest

    Visit HK? Not when it's run by China! Free the people first!!!

  5. Gary Freitas Guest

    Racist white people. Sounds like you’re racist also! You should be saying European Americans. Everybody else wants to be called other names with American behind it.

  6. Paul Standen Guest

    My last visit I did most of the tourist visits, Victoria Garden, the fide up., A visit to C Cambletown to the Jumbo Restaurant. Botanic gardens and more, shopping.

  7. C. Staaden Guest

    I visited Hong Kong some years ago and had intended to return, but circumstances seem determined to prevent it happening. Now to make it a bit less enticing the Jumbo restaurant has closed.

  8. Peter Kostanteen Guest

    How do i apply to get free tickets I am looking for a christmas/new years vacation

    1. Doug Guest

      My guess 8s to call Cathy Pacific airline Ana's ask them since free airfare is through Cathy airline

  9. iamhere Guest

    Your comments sound typical of someone that has not experienced it and you sound rude. You do not simply address the facts or based on personal experience.
    1. Hong Kong is really open and not semi open. The tests are antigen tests (e.g. the home kits). In fact for the first several days of your time in Hong Kong, you can go to most places. You just cannot dine in at a restaurant or...

    Your comments sound typical of someone that has not experienced it and you sound rude. You do not simply address the facts or based on personal experience.
    1. Hong Kong is really open and not semi open. The tests are antigen tests (e.g. the home kits). In fact for the first several days of your time in Hong Kong, you can go to most places. You just cannot dine in at a restaurant or visit a gym or other crowded venue. You can go to most shops, take out at restaurants, and stay in proper hotels. You make it seem like they are confining you to your hotel room for the first few days.
    2. Your comment regarding the influence from Mainland is usually true on some issues, but not this time. If that were true then there would be no quarantine once entering Mainland from Hong Kong, which is not the case. Macau has an open border I mean with no quarantine (assuming you can re-enter Mainland and assuming you have the qualification to enter Macau), so it can be done if they wanted to meet the requirement to do so.

    1. Acie Guest

      I'm seeing at lot of what China does, but nothing about what the U.S. does. Let's not sugar coat it, America is racist AF. Some say they will go to Taiwan because it's free, yet the tension between them and mainland China could have a conflict any day. I'm willing to bet that the negative shit being said about China is coming from a racist US hillbilly or worse.

    2. Oso Guest

      The US, like many places in the world, has tremendous issues with racism. However, as this is an article about Hong Kong, I'm not sure why you'd expect anyone to bring up US's issues with racism.

      I have a lot of negative things to say about China, including the genocide being perpetrated on Uighars. I'm not a racist hillbilly, I grew up in HK but no longer live there because of Chinese Government oppression.

  10. Bill Guest

    Will never go to HK again. Under poo Bear Xi, too dangerous. Ignore the lame wumao. Taiwan is worth visiting as it is still a free country.

  11. Barty Guest

    What a disgusting strategy to tempt the world to forget what the monster China is doing to the poor country of Hong Kong and the Uighur. Tourists should bin the ticket and stay away from supporting genocide.

  12. David Diamond

    Also comes with a free 7-night stay at Penny Bay if you test positive. How can I possibly say no?

  13. Sohel assfour Guest

    I am glad to be able to visit hk again. I missed that place a lot. I am ready to fly there soon. A lot of measure and business opportunities in that city.

  14. BigG Guest

    50 cent wumaos are back . I guess the internet in mainland China is also giving up on zero Covid lockdowns.

  15. Mark Guest

    I am hoping HK government aren't cheap and booked first or at least biz class tickets. NO one wants cattle class tix even if they are free.

  16. sacrxy New Member

    The plan is supposed to favor business travelers and big spenders. Apologies if the link is hidden behind a paywall. Not tech savvy enough to figure out.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hong-kong-economy/article/3195084/business-travellers-expected-be-targeted-hong?module=lead_hero_story&pgtype=homepage

  17. Tito Guest

    It is welcome news for us to be able to visit HongKong once more. Our entire family miss you so much

  18. Jackson Guest

    HK is now ruled by the communist Chinese. That city is done, nobody wants to go there.

    1. Chris Guest

      You're annoying and sound like an enormous crybaby. Get a grip, junior.

    2. Keras Guest

      Well, you're demonstrably wrong, I want to there!

    3. kendor Guest

      I'm no big fan of Communism, but I want to go to HK at the earliest convenience. Pro-tip: China is not really Communist, and certainly not organized as Soviet styled dictatorship.

    4. Cbc Guest

      "nobody wants to go there" is not an accurate statement. You do not represent me. It's YOU who don't want to go, doesn't mean I don't want to go! In fact I am going next year!

    5. Robert Guest

      have you been there?

    6. Brianair Guest

      I wonder if China will actually fold Hong Kong into Shenzhen or just let it be.

  19. Murica Guest

    "... given the influence of mainland China." -OMAT
    Oh dear...just more anti-Chinese sentiment. When will white people stop? China has nothing to to do with Hk's quarantine requirements. Korea and Japan have been doing similar quarantine measures for 2 years, yet no one is blaming China for that. So why HK?
    Please stop the racist attitude.

    1. XPL Diamond

      "When will white people stop?"
      "Please stop the racist attitude."

      You don't see the contradiction there?

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @XPL

      Some race on the other hand, spend too much time with non-white racists victim card beneficiaries, they start learning how to use the race card and calling out other race.

    3. Hsowbrvfkwnd Guest

      Oh dear.. another China shill. When will you little pinks stop? It’s starting to look desperate. Just because you learn some minor British expressions, use a screen name that you perceive to be “cleverly” mocking the US, and reappropriate American cultural terminology describing very real social ills (and for your own selfish purposes too) doesn’t mean you have any legitimacy to your statements. Because you are so absorbed in your own narrative that other people...

      Oh dear.. another China shill. When will you little pinks stop? It’s starting to look desperate. Just because you learn some minor British expressions, use a screen name that you perceive to be “cleverly” mocking the US, and reappropriate American cultural terminology describing very real social ills (and for your own selfish purposes too) doesn’t mean you have any legitimacy to your statements. Because you are so absorbed in your own narrative that other people are uninformed, ignorant, illogical, and mean-spirited, I don’t think you noticed that you come off as that.

      If this travel blog is too triggering for you, why don’t you follow a non-white, non-Western one? I doubt anything outside of the sino web will be okay to you, because be honest to yourself, you can’t handle anything that doesn’t “talk nice” to the fragile sino sensibilities.

    4. Julie Guest

      I would take a couple of tickets if given to me.

    5. Arno Neemers Guest

      Incorrect, and very easily proven so.

      https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-says-hong-kongs-priority-is-cut-covid-infections-deaths-2022-03-08/

    6. David Diamond

      No one is going to buy your little pink statements. BTW I'm part of the Great Translation Movement and helping to expose the garbage Chinese netizens spew. Get triggered.

      It's especially ironic for you to claim white people are racist, when I've never seen more racist statements about blacks and Indians and SE Asians than on the Chinese intranet. How's that for the whataboutism you little pinks love to engage in?

  20. ChaChing Guest

    Let’s look at how many westerners will pass. Thank goodness. 21st century is asian centuries. Asia has largest population in the world. HK doesn’t need westerners.
    Let’s go asians and mainlanders. Get them free tickets. These gullible westerners do not want to visit HK. Long live authoritarian capitalism like Singapore, HK, mainland China. SEA countries need to open their eyes and scrap the democracy BS.

    1. Eve Guest

      You know that Singaporean Government is not at all like Hong Kong or China you gullible person?

    2. Marc Guest

      There is nothing capitalistic about China. The are a brutal authoritarian regime with no value of human life. If you think otherwise you are an imbecile.

    3. kendor Guest

      @Marc Your comment is ridiculous to anyone that's spent time in China. How many times have you visited? What provinces and cities have you seen?

      Much of China's economy is the most free-market and capitalistic I've experienced. There are very good and very bad things about that fact.

      Much of China's economy is free-market in the way America's is, wrapped by an authoritarian political system that aspires to good governance and meritocracy but sometimes...

      @Marc Your comment is ridiculous to anyone that's spent time in China. How many times have you visited? What provinces and cities have you seen?

      Much of China's economy is the most free-market and capitalistic I've experienced. There are very good and very bad things about that fact.

      Much of China's economy is free-market in the way America's is, wrapped by an authoritarian political system that aspires to good governance and meritocracy but sometimes falls victim to the invariable corruptions of concentrated power. At the lowest levels, China's economy is almost completely unregulated. Large businesses like Alibaba and Tencent are more prone to government regulation and meddling ... much like the USA.

      Calling it a "brutal authoritarian regime with no value of human life [sic]" is straight-up comic-book fantasy. The reality is more nuanced. Why don't you spend some time in China and talk to as many Chinese people as you like before spewing this popular brand of bigotry.

    4. Marc Guest

      I've spent a great deal of time in China. Over twenty trips there. Ask the uighur population how wonderful their government is. There is nothing free market about China unless the government allows it. Amazing how Jack Ma, who I've had the pleasure to speak with, suddenly disappeared for quite some time after comments he made were not met with government approval. At the lowest levels, China's economy is pretty much meaningless, so of course...

      I've spent a great deal of time in China. Over twenty trips there. Ask the uighur population how wonderful their government is. There is nothing free market about China unless the government allows it. Amazing how Jack Ma, who I've had the pleasure to speak with, suddenly disappeared for quite some time after comments he made were not met with government approval. At the lowest levels, China's economy is pretty much meaningless, so of course it is not regulated. There are reasons that so many tech companies are moving away from China at present, and they do not all stem from the poor relationship we presently have with them. Some years ago I rode in an elevator at the Hyatt with Tim Cook. Even then it was very evident he was cognizant of every word he said as we spoke, lest he run afoul of the powers in China. I'm glad to see that he has been shifting to Vietnam as of recent.

    5. JW Guest

      Singapore has more similarities to Taiwan. Given a choice Singaporeans would rather go to Taiwan Japan and South Korea rather than mainland China as the former are perceived as developed, clean, civilised and Liberal. With HK being associated to China or rather being part of China, it doesn't help.

    6. Bob Guest

      The other asian countries aren't too thrilled with china either soooo party of 1.

    7. John Guest

      Thank you for getting off Tik Tok long enough to comment. Enjoy your internet restrictions in HK and PRC. Taiwan and Singapore represent the future of Asian democracy.

    8. Brianair Guest

      I so wish my family were from Taiwan or Singapore instead of HK.

    1. snic Diamond

      Nothing in the post says that all the tickets are coach...

    2. Eve Guest

      Why are you even flying business class? Might as well just start flying private jet if you cannot be bothered to mingle with the general public

      Also who asked for your opinion if you want to fly economy class to Hong Kong or not?

    3. Ahmed Guest

      I am going to hazard a guess that you're too poor to fly, even in coach.

    4. JustMe Citizen Guest

      Elitist much?

  21. Timo Gold

    Fingers crossed ! I'll take two please but have my doubts. Those tourists numbers are staggering!

  22. George Guest

    And comes with the risk of the Chinese government locking down at any moment for any reason. HARD PASS

    1. Jkjkjk Guest

      Chinese government has no lockdown jurisdiction in HK. Be an informed tourist.

    2. marc Guest

      The Chinese government has total jurisdiction. They just operate through their local puppets.

    3. Breched Guest

      Where and when is the tickets available. I will visit HK

    4. Bob Guest

      The same govt that "do not crack down" on local protests because that is also not their jurisdiction. Yup.

    5. marc Guest

      I was out there with the protestors some years ago. Your comment is 100% accurate. As my wife sat in the Conrad Hotel, I had tear gas lobbed at me from the "do not crack down" government while protesting with what were mostly young people who feared losing the freedom they had grown up with.

    6. Poo Bear Guest

      Agree, PRC lied about one country two systems. Never trust them!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

XPL Diamond

"When will white people stop?" "Please stop the racist attitude." You don't see the contradiction there?

10
Eve Guest

You know that Singaporean Government is not at all like Hong Kong or China you gullible person?

8
Hsowbrvfkwnd Guest

Oh dear.. another China shill. When will you little pinks stop? It’s starting to look desperate. Just because you learn some minor British expressions, use a screen name that you perceive to be “cleverly” mocking the US, and reappropriate American cultural terminology describing very real social ills (and for your own selfish purposes too) doesn’t mean you have any legitimacy to your statements. Because you are so absorbed in your own narrative that other people are uninformed, ignorant, illogical, and mean-spirited, I don’t think you noticed that you come off as that. If this travel blog is too triggering for you, why don’t you follow a non-white, non-Western one? I doubt anything outside of the sino web will be okay to you, because be honest to yourself, you can’t handle anything that doesn’t “talk nice” to the fragile sino sensibilities.

7
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