Hong Kong offers 500,000 free round-trip tickets to boost tourism -- and Canadians have a chance to get in
Canadians will have a chance to win heavily discounted flights, but will still have to pay some fees
Hong Kong is hoping to attract tourists back following a rough few years of the pandemic. The international travel hub has launched an ambitious campaign to help woo people from around the globe, which includes 500,000 free round-trip plane tickets, in partnership with several different Hong Kong-based airlines. Those include Cathay Pacific, HK Express, and Hong Kong Airlines, which will also be offering significant discounts and promotions on flights.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee describes the “Hello Hong Kong” campaign as “probably the world's biggest welcome ever”.
Hong Kong is still recovering from the hit on tourism that been has greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it now has more relaxed entry rules for travellers, it has followed the “zero-COVID” strategy similar to those implemented by Mainland China. People coming into Hong Kong were required to stay in a quarantine hotel and supply PCR tests, though those rules have since changed in recent months.
The Government of Canada still advises that Canadians exercise a high degree of caution while travelling to Hong Kong, due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws.
In 2019, Hong Kong welcomed 56 million visitors, which is seven times its population.
According to the government’s provisional data, Hong Kong’s GDP in 2022 fell to 3.5% from the previous year.
The “Hello Hong Kong” campaign will be rolled out to different regions over the next few months, starting with Southeast Asia in March and Mainland China in April. In May, the contest will open up to north Asia and other markets, including Canada and the U.S.
Canadians can enter to win by enrolling in Cathay Pacific’s member program, which can be found here. Because of legislation, Canadians will have access to heavily discounted tickets, but will still have to pay for fees like airport taxes and surcharges.
In addition to the free tickets, visitors can also enter to win free “goodie” prizes like cocktails, gift vouchers to restaurants and shops, and special gifts from various museums in Hong Kong. To learn more about the Hong Kong Goodies, click here.