Hong Kong offers free flights to global tourists

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  • Hong Kong announced Thursday that it will offer 500,000 flights to tourists from around the world.
  • The $2 billion plan aims to boost tourism as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, TImeOut reported.
  • Hong Kong’s chief executive, Lee Kar-chao, said there would be “unrestricted access” to experiencing the city.

After years of strict COVID-19 regulation, Hong Kong is offering free travel to lure tourists and investors back, with 500,000 flights to Hong Kong currently up for grabs.

The plan, announced by Hong Kong leader Kar-chau Lee on Thursday, is aimed at showing that the city is open to tourism and ready for business, according to Reuters.

“Hong Kong is now connected to mainland China and the entire international world, there will be no isolation, quarantine and restrictions…enjoy the hustle and bustle of an international city in Asia,” he said, according to Reuters.

The $2 billion plan, which includes issuing air tickets to tourists around the world, will focus on tourism in Southeast Asian countries, followed by mainland China and Northeast Asian countries, TimeOut reported. Some tickets are reserved for visitors from the United States and Europe.

According to TimeOut, the tickets will be sold by HK Express, Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines from March 1. In addition, the city’s tourism bureau will also give away 1 million food, entertainment and travel vouchers.

Hong Kong followed China’s zero-coronavirus policy for much of the pandemic before easing rules last year, according to Reuters. By December, most of the restrictions had been lifted, according to Reuters.

In his announcement on Thursday, Lee said Hong Kong would begin hosting sports and other cultural events while highlighting its culture, Reuters reported.

“We must let the outside world know that Hong Kong has a unique status, especially that the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ will be implemented in Hong Kong for a long time,” he said.

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