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Hong Kong opens borders for tourists, sends 500,000 free air tickets under 'Hello Hong Kong' campaign

Hong Kong's tourism industry has suffered since 2019 after months of political strife that at times turned into violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as harsh entry restrictions implemented during the pandemic.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Hong Kong Updated on: February 03, 2023 12:43 IST
Hello Hong Kong
Image Source : AP Dancers perform at a kickoff event for Hong Kong's tourism campaign 'Hello Hong Kong' in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong on Friday opened its gates to tourists and visitors from across the world by offering 500,000 free air tickets under its global promotional campaign 'Hello Hong Kong'. Other than this, city-wide offers covering 'Hong Kong Goodies' visitor consumption vouchers, will also to provided to travellers to experience the country's diverse appeals.

The campaign comes as the country tries to revive its tourism sector which took a major hit during the Covid lockdowns. Hong Kong's tourism industry has suffered since 2019 after months of political strife that at times turned into violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as harsh entry restrictions implemented during the pandemic.

In addition, Hong Kong will host a year-round calendar of more than 250 events and festivals across 2023. Highlights include the Hong Kong Marathon, the Clockenflap music festival, Art Basel, the Museum Summit 2023, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and New Year Countdown Celebrations, showcasing the dynamic and diverse appeal of the city.

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In 2022, nearly 605,000 visitors came to Hong Kong, up sixfold from the year before, but about 90% less than 2019 before the pandemic, which saw 55.9 million arrivals.

Dr Pang Yiu-kai, Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), said “Hong Kong is back on the map for global travellers, with more excitement to offer than ever before. We are extending the biggest welcome to the world through the ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign, inviting friends from everywhere as they return to one of the world’s greatest tourism destinations. I am confident that Hong Kong’s vibrant east-meets-west culture, together with our iconic and brand-new attractions and immersive experiences will attract travellers back for an epic, unforgettable journey.”

Hong Kong, China scrap Covid test

Travel between Hong Kong and China will no longer require Covid-19 PCR tests nor be held to a daily limit, authorities announced Friday, as both places seek to drive economic growth.

“From Monday, there will be a full resumption of travel between Hong Kong and the mainland,” Hong Kong leader John Lee said Friday at a news briefing. Lee said quotas for travelers will be scrapped and all boundary checkpoints will reopen next week.

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The announcement came a day after Lee unveiled a tourism campaign aimed at attracting travelers to Hong Kong that includes 500,000 free air tickets for tourists to visit the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

China had already eased travel restrictions with Hong Kong on January 8, dropping a mandatory quarantine period required for travelers entering the mainland. However, the number of travelers entering the mainland from Hong Kong via land checkpoints was limited to 50,000 a day.

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