Hong Kong gives 500,000 free flights to tourists

My favorite city in the world (or at least what used to be my favorite city in the world…I’m not sure anymore) is planning to create Radical marketing ploy to attract tourists. However, what I am most excited about is not the free tickets per se, but rather the implications…

Hong Kong to attract tourists with free airline tickets

Hong Kong recently Quarantine requirement canceled After about 2.5 years. While this is a step in the right direction, Hong Kong is still not a place most travelers want to visit at the moment, due to the endless testing requirements, and movement restrictions in the first three days of your stay.

Fortunately, Hong Kong appears to be preparing for further easing of restrictions, and has a good plan in place to attract visitors. Hong Kong is expected to give 500,000 air tickets to tourists once the government removes all remaining travel restrictions.

The government allegedly bought these tickets back in 2020 (likely to support Cathay Pacific, and possibly some other domestic airlines), and plans to use them once tourism fully reopens. The government estimates that it will take three to six months for tourists to return to Hong Kong in large numbers after the restrictions are lifted, so this is aimed at speeding up the process.

The exact details of how these tickets were awarded are still unknown. In this regard, I am curious about the restrictions on tickets, if they are from certain destinations, etc.

Just for the context of Hong Kong’s drop in visitors, the destination saw just 184,000 visitors in the first eight months of 2022, while Hong Kong in 2019 saw 56 million visitors.

Hong Kong will give free tours to visitors

Hong Kong plans to fully reopen tourism?

What I am most pleased about this development is not the fact that the government is giving out 500,000 tickets, but that there appears to be a plan to fully reopen Hong Kong to tourists at some point.

It is rumored that Hong Kong CEO John Lee may announce plans for normalizing travel restrictions during his October policy speech, expected on October 19, 2022. This is assuming the current situation of the pandemic does not worsen significantly.

This will include Hong Kong’s abolition of remaining restrictions on incoming international travelers, including no restriction of movement for the first three days, and having to test for the first seven days.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spent the past two years wondering if Hong Kong will ever return to normal in terms of travel restrictions, given the influence of mainland China. It finally seems increasingly likely that Hong Kong will indeed fully open.

Not only have almost all other places (except mainland China) lifted most of their pandemic travel restrictions, but Hong Kong is now semi-open, so it appears to have given up its zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus, and its alignment with mainland China. At this point, it seems to me likely that Hong Kong’s restrictions will be lifted before the end of the year.

We hope visiting Hong Kong becomes practical again soon!


The Hong Kong government plans to grant 500,000 airline tickets once the travel restrictions related to the epidemic are lifted. While this is a great promotion in and of itself, the most exciting development is that Hong Kong is increasingly likely to lift its remaining travel restrictions in the coming weeks.

Oh, how nice it is to once again be able to stop in Hong Kong on the way to another destination. We hope this is possible before Alaska mileage plan changes award structure. 😉

Does anyone share my optimism for a full reopening of Hong Kong?

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