CNN Travel reports Airport Authority Hong Kong will move forward with a ticket giveaway after purchasing them during the pandemic, which will be shared with international travelers and residents who want to come back and visit the historic city.
Plan to Help Aviation Industry Results in Major Tourism Push
The original plan from the Airport Authority was to purchase the massive amount of tickets – valued at around $254.8 million – to help airlines based in the city to weather the international travel downturn. Since then, the group held on to those tickets in the hopes that travelers would again come back to the city.
With quarantine restrictions ending in the city, the authority is now gearing up to give those tickets away to both residents and international travelers who want to visit the city. The giveaway is part of a larger recovery campaign, after the city experienced some of the harshest lockdowns on foreign travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope to give the maximum room to reconnect Hong Kong,” Hong Kong chief executive John Lee said during a press conference, according to CNN. “And to revitalize our economy.”
While the details are still being worked out between the government and airlines, interested travelers can prepare for a potentially free trip to the city by reviewing current entry requirements. To travel to Hong Kong, flyers must provide a pre-flight vaccination certificate, a negative PCR and rapid antigen test prior to arrival and a three-day self-monitoring period where they will not be allowed to go to restaurants or bars.
Ticket Giveaway Comes as Virgin Atlantic Cuts Service
The move comes days after Virgin Atlantic announced they would end service between London and Hong Kong, citing difficulties in flying the route. Other airlines say the reduction of COVID-19 quarantine requirements is renewing new interest in the city. Cathay Pacific and others say website traffic and airfare searches have spiked significantly since the quarantine restrictions were dropped.
Source: frugal travel guy