Hong Kong is giving away 500,000 free airline tickets. Are they available to Europeans?

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The strategy launched for Europeans this month. Here's who tin inactive apply.

Hong Kong is giving distant 500,000 hose tickets successful an effort to woo tourists backmost to the region.

Airlines person been releasing the tickets successful stages since March. They were made disposable to Europeans successful May.

The metropolis removed the past of its strict question restrictions in March, including each pre-departure and post-arrival quarantine and testing. Its disguise mandate ended aft being in spot for implicit 2.5 years - 1 of the longest of immoderate country. 

Now Hong Kong is hoping to bounce backmost from the monolithic interaction the pandemic had connected its tourism industry. And portion of its program involves giving distant 500,00 hose tickets worthy much than €250 million.

Hong Kong received 56 cardinal visitors successful 2019 - implicit 7 times its colonisation - earlier the pandemic began. But its strict COVID restrictions kept visitors distant implicit the past 3 years, devastating the tourism assemblage and its economy. The city’s GDP past twelvemonth fell 3.5 per cent from 2021, according to the government’s provisional data.

How does Hong Kong's escaped summons strategy work?

The giveaway began connected 1 March and is acceptable to past for astir six months, with tickets released successful phases.

The free tickets were initially bought to enactment airlines during the pandemic. 

65 per cent of the tickets are being distributed by Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express, Hong Kong Airlines and Greater Bay Airlines done their nonstop channels oregon their agents. 

The remaining tickets are reserved for tourism-related sectors to enactment inbound tourism and beforehand Hong Kong.

The giveaway takes assorted forms, ranging from fortunate draws, to first-come-first-served, to bargain one, get 1 free.

Who tin use for Hong Kong's escaped formation tickets?

Tickets person been distributed gradually connected the airlines' overseas platforms starting with Southeast Asian countries successful March, followed by mainland China successful April, and Northeast Asia, Europe and different markets from May. Giveaways for Japan and Taiwan volition motorboat successful June and July.

You tin registry for information via Hong Kong Airport's website and the airlines' ain websites.

All tickets are round-trip system class, and winners volition beryllium liable for paying each related surcharges, fees and taxes.

The summons bounds has already been reached for Europe, with the last flights being fixed distant betwixt 10-16 May. 

Hong Kong gave distant 3,260 tickets from London, 900 from Frankfurt, 380 from Zurich, 950 from Paris and 350 from Madrid. For those who entered the quiz, winners volition beryllium announced via email connected 5 June. 

Registration is inactive unfastened for entrants from the US and Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and South Africa. 

More tickets volition beryllium released for mainland China successful the 3rd 4th of the campaign.

A further 80,000 escaped outbound aerial tickets volition beryllium fixed to Hong Kong residents successful July, with much reserved for those surviving successful the Greater Bay Area. In total, much than 700,000 tickets volition beryllium fixed away.

What discounts are disposable successful Hong Kong?

The escaped flights are portion of the wider $2 cardinal (€1.8 bn) 'Hello Hong Kong' campaign, which besides provides visitors with peculiar offers and vouchers among different incentives successful the city.

One cardinal vouchers worthy implicit HKD100 (€11.60) each volition supply discounts connected food, drinks, transport, hotels, retail and attractions. They will be distributed astatine tourer enquiry counters located astatine 4 borderline checkpoints from 5pm connected 2 February, according to Time Out Hong Kong. 

The metropolis volition besides big much than 250 events and festivals passim 2023, from the Hong Kong Marathon to the Clockenflap euphony festival, Art Basel and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.

What are the introduction requirements for Hong Kong?

Hong Kong had immoderate of the strictest rules for travellers passim the pandemic.

The metropolis mostly aligned itself with mainland China’s 'zero-COVID' strategy and has relaxed its introduction rules months slower than rivals specified arsenic Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. 

In September, mandatory quarantine connected accomplishment was dropped. But adjacent aft Hong Kong reopened its borderline with mainland China successful January, tourism betterment was sluggish.

Now, the rules person been relaxed fully. The Hong Kong authorities advises inbound travellers to behaviour a accelerated antigen trial connected accomplishment and again connected time 5 of their visit. But if you test positive, you are nary longer required to isolate.

Since 6 February, impervious of vaccination is nary longer required for non-Hong Kong residents. This means you bash not request to beryllium afloat vaccinated, oregon amusement impervious of vaccination to participate Hong Kong.

You are nary longer required to trial oregon quarantine erstwhile travelling from Hong Kong to mainland China. However, if you person visited a 3rd state wrong the past 7 days, a antagonistic PCR trial taken wrong 48 hours of accomplishment successful the mainland is required.

Masks are nary longer enforced connected nationalist transport, indoors oregon outdoors, though they whitethorn inactive beryllium required successful immoderate high-risk settings. This was the city's past remaining COVID-19 restriction, and was antecedently enforced with HK$5,000 (€600) fines.

Hong Kong afloat reopens borderline with mainland China

On 6 February, each question restrictions betwixt Hong Kong and mainland China were dropped.

Until past a antagonistic PCR trial was required, arsenic good arsenic pre-registration to get support to question via land.

At a property league Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee said, "A afloat opening of the borderline means, firstly, that determination volition beryllium nary bounds connected the fig of radical astatine each borderline crossings, nary request to marque anterior reservations, and you tin question freely arsenic you want.

"Secondly, the request for pre-entry COVID-19 investigating volition beryllium abolished, truthful that COVID and different tests volition nary longer beryllium required, and (people) are escaped to participate and leave. Thirdly, each migration power points volition beryllium opened."

Virgin Atlantic stops flights to Hong Kong aft 30 years

The closure of Russian airspace aft the penetration of Ukraine means immoderate airlines won’t beryllium resuming services to the city.

Virgin Atlantic announced successful autumn that it would beryllium closing its offices successful Hong Kong aft 30 years. Flights to the metropolis were suspended erstwhile the pandemic deed and had been owed to instrumentality arsenic portion of the 2023 summertime schedule.

The bearer made the determination to propulsion retired of the Asian question hub altogether. Several factors contributed to the determination including the closure of Russian airspace adding astatine slightest an hr to travel times.

Customers who had booked to question to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic from March 2023 person been offered a refund, voucher oregon the enactment to rebook connected an alternate way with the airline.

Taiwan is besides incentivising tourists to visit

Taiwan precocious launched its ain strategy to boost visitant numbers. It is offering to wage tourists conscionable implicit €150 to vacation determination this year.

The East Asian state is seeking to invited six cardinal tourists successful 2023, and hopes lining their wallets with NT$5,000 (€158) volition assistance triumph them over.

Announcing the connection successful February, Minister Wang Kwo-tsai explained that the tourists’ spending money volition beryllium delivered digitally and tin beryllium enactment towards accommodation and different costs successful the country.

He did not specify erstwhile the strategy would start.

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