Hong Kong’s brand-new international marketing project will “kickstart” the city’s resuming to global tourists, the Hong Kong Tourism Board informed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” onFriday
As part of the “Hello Hong Kong” project, which was released on Thursday, 500,000 air tickets will be distributed over the next 6 months, beginning in March.
The tickets will be provided through 3 Hong Kong’s providers– Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong KongAirlines
The totally free tickets become part of the HK$ 2 billion ($255 milion) relief plan that the federal government provided to airline companies in 2020, throughout the height of the pandemic.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board is likewise investing a minimum of HK$100 million in the promo of the project’s preliminary stage, it stated at the launch event.
But Hong Kong still deals with a “dilemma”– its facilities has some reaching do to accommodate the boost in visitors, stated Dane Cheng, the tourist board’s executive director.
“I think this dilemma, we have actually been seeing from other markets and destinations when they started to reopen in the last year or so. It’s difficult to catch up … particularly for the airlines, the airports and even hotels,” he informed CNBC.
“[But] you wish to start and … inform the world in a clear message that Hong Kong and after that mainland– we have actually lastly resumed.”
How the tickets are designated
The ticket free gift will be phased: It will begin with Southeast Asian markets, followed by mainland China and North Asia, and finally, other parts of the world.
Some 80,000 tickets have actually likewise been scheduled for Hong Kong homeowners which authorities intend to offer in the summer season.
The variety of tickets for each area was based upon “traffic shares” and visitor numbers from prior to the pandemic, stated Cheng.
Fred Lam, the CEO of Hong Kong’s airport authority, likewise anticipates the totally free tickets to have increasing results on the variety of visitors.
“We hope those who got the tickets will bring 2-3 more family and friends with them [to Hong Kong],” according to CNBC’s translations of Lam’s remarks at the project launch event.
“Even though we are only giving out 500,000 air tickets, we believe it will bring in more than 1.5 million incoming tourists,” Lam included. That’s about 10% of the overall variety of visitors anticipated throughout the project duration.
As for how visitors can get their hands on these totally free tickets, it will depend upon “local market regulations and customs,” he stated.
“[That] might consist of massive fortunate draws, providing it out through a first-come-first serve basis, using buy-on-get-one totally free tickets, or through video game involvements,” Lam stated.
‘Very plainly resumed’
On Friday, China stated cross-border travel with Hong Kong and Macao would completely resume fromFeb 6, ditching compulsory pre-departure tests and raising arrival quotas, according to a Reuters report.
” I believe it’s really clear that the Hong Kong federal government and likewise our mainland main federal government has actually been really sensible and they [made] it really clear that whatever wishes to be resumed in an organized and progressive way,” statedCheng
He included that prior to the pandemic, Hong Kong had “over 25 million overnight visitors” each year, and it will take the city time to “get back” those numbers.
Return of MICE occasions in Hong Kong
Cheng stated the previous 2 to 3 years were “difficult” for Hong Kong’s MICE (conferences, rewards, conferences & & exhibits) market, which generated more than 1.6 million abroad visitors in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
“The last year or so, other countries and cities and destinations have started opening up and of course we have some wonderful events that have been in Hong Kong for years,” statedCheng
“Anchor occasions [were] leaving and they state sorry, ‘We’re going to other locations in Southeast Asia, Middle East,’ or some simply essentially delay or delay.”
However, he stated the city is now “confident” and “looking forward to receiving visitors” once again.
That can be translucented its “Hello Hong Kong” project, which has a 2023 lineup of more than 250 occasions and celebrations– consisting of the Hong Kong Marathon, the Clockenflap music celebration and Hong Kong RugbySevens
There are likewise more than 100 global MICE occasions prepared for the year, stated the city’s tourist board.