Tickets will be spread out among the city’s three airlines — flag carrier Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hongkong Airlines. The 500,000 tickets cost the city about $254.8 million in total.
The tickets will be allocated in three waves: from March 1 to people across Southeast Asia, from April 1 to people living in mainland China and from May 1 to residents in the rest of the world.
The Hello Hong Kong campaign launch ceremony was held on February 2.
Lam Yik/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Locals can get in on the action, too. From July 1, some airline tickets will be given out to Hong Kongers eager for a chance to make up for lost travel time.
Those who have been to Hong Kong before will find a different city than the one they may remember.
Hong Kong was slow and cautious in its approach to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city began to cancel in-person events in January 2020 when the first cases of patients exhibiting symptoms of a new flu-like disease were reported in Wuhan, China.
Traveling in and out of Hong Kong was challenging and expensive during the pandemic. Strict quarantines, which peaked at 21 days of isolation, and requirements for multiple PCR tests kept out the majority of travelers.
These quarantines were served in hotels and paid for by travelers. Those who tested positive for the virus on arrival were sent to government facilities. Entry into the city was restricted to Hong Kong residents.
Before the pandemic, Hong Kong saw 56 million visitors in a typical year. By 2022, that number had fallen to about 100,000.
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