(Collected from Asia Times www.atimes.com)
HK sales reopen with half a million free air tickets
By JEFF PAO
Strategies to give half a million free air tickets this time through local airlines with lottery and gambling methods Not only wanting to attract tourists to return to this city again but also aiming to convince those who had left to return
The Hong Kong government will give 500,000 free plane tickets to international travelers starting next month. as part of various free distribution schemes that the government will use to promote tourism in Hong Kong after the pandemic And although mainland China is opening its doors once again after the policy was lifted, “No COVID “harsh
These plane tickets Most of them are tickets bought by the Hong Kong Airport Authority in the year 2020. There will be various airlines. in Hong Kong as a distribution agent And there are some that tour operators will allocate to international tourists.
last week The Hong Kong government has started a marketing campaign called “Hello Hong Kong” to report the good news. about this city for foreigners (see more at https://twitter.com/Brand_HK/status/1621080659031896064) This feeling promotion comes after 15,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers. Decided to leave this city for the last 2 years.
The government of this Special Administrative Region of China also said that measures imposed on mainland Chinese travelers to Hong Kong will soon be lifted. The results of the COVID PCR test must be negative in order to reach the so-called “Reopening the borders once again” perfectly.
Since the start of the pandemic in Wuhan, Hebei Province, in January 2020, Hong Kong and mainland China have implemented some of the world’s strictest quarantine and social distancing rules until the end of 2022.
throughout that period Many foreign companies have relocated their Hong Kong operations to other business centers such as Singapore, while tens of thousands of Hong Kong expatriates have left the city permanently. where before There is also a trend of large numbers of Hong Kongers migrating abroad without incentives related to COVID. After Beijing enforced the National Security Law, which many Hong Kongers consider full of draconian regulations and ambiguous content on June 30, 2020
On Thursday (February 2), Hong Kong’s airports authority announced that Hong Kong airlines, including Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines, will distribute the free flight ticket 500,000 tickets using lottery methods to find lucky winners as well as play various games From March 1 onwards
(Translator’s Note — Cathay Pacific Said so on their website Air tickets to and from Hong Kong will be distributed. It is being generously discounted in limited numbers globally in stages, in Asia starting March 1, 2023. Tickets will then be distributed gradually for the UK, Germany, and Switzerland. from May onwards Cathay Pacific Ask those interested to register with the airline . To know more details and have a chance to win free tickets. See more details at https://flights.cathaypacific.com/en_GB/offers/world-of-winners.html
As for HK Express, the details have not yet been provided. Only advertisements say This program will start from April onwards. See more at https://www.hkexpress.com/en-hk/
The Hong Kong Airlines They said they would give free economy class tickets for return. split from time to time The first phase began on March 1 for travelers from Southeast Asian markets to Hong Kong. This was then followed by those from the mainland markets of China and Northeast Asia. such as Japan and Korea For travel tickets from Hong Kong to various destinations Will start delivery in the third quarter. It can be done from March 1, 2023 onwards, with various details. They will be posted on the airline’s website in descending order. See more at https://www.hongkongairlines.com/en_HK/readysetgo/main)
Each visitor is estimated to have a free ticket. Each travel companion will bring two or three people, meaning the program will attract more than a million passengers to Hong Kong, said Fred Lam, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Airports Authority. Kong.
Lam said the airport authorities would also offer an additional 80,000 free tickets to be distributed to Hong Kong permanent residents and another 80,000 to people living in other parts of the Greater Bay Area. Maria (Area of the Greater Bay) traveling abroad this summer.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said. At least one million free coupons worth more than HK$100 (US$18) will be distributed to tourists for drinks, food, shopping and travel expenses.
With the recent relaxation of the COVID rules, the number of visitors increased to 605,000 last year from just 91,000 in 2021. In 2019, before the pandemic, The city welcomes up to 56 million visitors, the majority of whom come from the big land
On January 8 this year, Hong Kong and mainland China resumed cross-border travel without quarantine once again. since then more than 700,000 traveled to the mainland, while over 600,000 crossed over to Hong Kong. Although it was reported that some Chinese tourists chose to go to Macau. instead of visiting Hong Kong Because they can avoid having to do a COVID PCR test before leaving.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said on Tuesday that he was confident that the requirement for mainland travelers to show PCR results would soon be lifted.
(see more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9rUwN4TTIk )
In addition to attracting tourists, the “Hello Hong Kong” campaign aims to tell positive stories about China and Hong Kong. with the hope of convincing the expatriates to leave Hong Kong At least some of them have returned. According to the government disclosure of this Special Administrative Region
According to Hong Kong’s population In the three-year period ending in mid-2022, net departures from Hong Kong reached 230,000, setting a new record.
The UK Home Office said on Wednesday that it had welcomed Hong Kong residents since the beginning of 2021 through the British National (overseas) citizenship program of 144,500 people.
(see more at https://twitter.com/ukhomeoffice/status/1620478885086515206)
US Consul General Gregory May said on January 25 that 15,000 Hong Kong residents, or about 20 percent of the total, are moving from Hong Kong. Hong Kong for the past two years, expressed concern about the decline in academic freedom . and freedom of expression – in the press and beyond – in the city due to the enforcement of national security laws.
(see more at https://hk.usconsulate.gov/n-2023012501/)
His comments appeared to have angered the Hong Kong authorities. The Hong Kong government has strongly condemned what it calls “serious fraud”. “False comments, slander, and obscurity” May
Hong Kong’s Trade Minister Algernon Yau said that Radio Television Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s official radio and television outlet, has been able to help people in Hong Kong and elsewhere Become more informed about Hong Kong
“Foreigners living in Hong Kong and those on the mainland and in foreign countries can become more knowledgeable about the latest developments in the SAR. and the limitless potential of this region,” Yao said.
Mass migration out this time. It has also led to empty places in elementary schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong.
According to the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, their survey of 230 kindergartens found that these schools lost 25% of their students this school year. The federation has called on the government to increase subsidies to these schools. Otherwise, many nursery schools would have to close.
The Hong Kong Government-funded Association of Primary School Principals (HK Association of Aided Primary School Principals) said that many elementary schools have received fewer students this school year. As a result, these schools still have 50 percent of places available, the association said, as the immigration tide could continue for some time. Some schools may have to close.