As Hong Kong eases travel, the country is welcoming tourists with upto 5,00,000 free tickets across various carriers. Here are the details. By Tania Tarafdar
It’s hard to believe that two and half years have passed since we first learned about COVID-19, and countries worldwide began implementing various lockdown restrictions. For many, a year of staying home has meant giving up travelling, primarily via plane. However, as Hong Kong eases travel restrictions, and there’s perhaps a light at the end of this tunnel, it is giving away 500,000 plane tickets to lure visitors and compensate for the lost time.
Hong Kong attempts to reconnect with the world
The Airport Authority Hong Kong raised HKD 2 billion (INR 2,083 crore, approx) in 2020 to purchase around 5,00,000 plane tickets from carriers like Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express, and Cathay Dragon. The giving away of plane tickets marks yet another attempt of Hong Kong’s commitment to reconnecting with the rest of the world. Recently, Hong Kong effectively scrapped the mandatory hotel quarantine and reduced the health surveillance period from four to three days.
Hong Kong may further relax remaining travel rules
As the government removes the mandatory hotel quarantine on inbound arrivals, Chief Executive John Lee may announce the plan to bounce back to normalcy in his October policy address, reports Sing Tao Daily. Free plane tickets are one of the measures aimed at reviving tourism in the city. The city’s rigid COVID-19 rules have kept it isolated for most of the pandemic, hurting its reputation as a global financial centre.
According to reports, Hong Kong may scrap the remaining restrictions on inbound travellers that restricts their movements to public places three days after arrival. Following the recent removal of the hotel quarantine, there are growing expectations that Hong Kong will attempt to remove the remaining restrictions too! The government hopes that tourists will return to the city in one or two quarters once the Hong Kong government eases further travel restrictions, including the town’s three-day bar and restaurant ban.