Hong Kong plans 500,000 plane-ticket giveaway to woo tourists: Local media

The giving away of the tickets is one of the measures aimed at boosting tourism. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG - Hong Kong will give away 500,000 plane tickets to woo visitors back to the financial hub when the government removes all remaining Covid-19 restrictions on inbound arrivals, local media outlet Sing Tao reported in a column, citing people it did not identify.

Chief Executive John Lee may announce the plan to return to normalcy in his October policy address, unless the Covid-19 situation significantly worsens, the report said, citing political and business groups.

The giving away of the tickets, which the government purchased in 2020 to attract travellers, is one of the measures aimed at boosting tourism, it said.

The government estimated that it will take one to two quarters for tourists to return the city even after it cancels the remaining curbs that include three days of movement restrictions, according to Sing Tao.

Expectations are building that Hong Kong will look to scrap remaining restrictions on inbound travellers, who are barred from going to bars or eating at restaurants for three days and must test daily for seven days. These rules follow the recent removal of mandatory hotel quarantine.

The city's Covid-19 rules have kept it isolated for most of the pandemic, tarnishing its standing as a global financial centre and battering its economy. BLOOMBERG

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