Under the impact of the pandemic and the mainland's strict laws, Hong Kong is increasingly losing popularity and autonomy. A new campaign is now intended to boost tourism in the special administrative zone. In addition to 500,000 free flight tickets, there are other ideas on the agenda.
The Chinese Hong Kong Special Administrative Region wants to attract more visitors again with free flight tickets. The metropolitan government unveiled its "Hello, Hong Kong" campaign, which aims to tell "good stories" about the city after years of political repression and harsh restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Also included are 500,000 free tickets for interested visitors.
Prime Minister John Lee promised "no isolation, no quarantine and no restrictions" in a speech to high-ranking representatives from business and tourism. Visitors could experience the "hustle and bustle" of the city carefree. The local airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines will start issuing tickets in March.
In 2022, a total of just 600,000 people had visited Hong Kong - less than one percent of the number recorded in 2018. The main reason was the strict measures imposed by the government in Beijing to contain the corona pandemic. But the star of the once cosmopolitan financial metropolis had already begun to decline. Massive and often violent protests against Beijing's growing influence in the SAR have also been violently crushed.
With the so-called security law for Hong Kong, the Chinese government greatly expanded its police control in 2020. As a result, 130 international companies have closed their branches in Hong Kong in the past three years. According to official figures, more than 140,000 working people have left Hong Kong.
Prime Minister Lee, who as a former security chief is under US sanctions for his role in cracking down on protests, promised to polish the reputation of the metropolis again: He will "personally spread the advertising messages about our achievements as the world's freest economy and China's international financial center". .