Hong Kong Targeting to Regain 80% of Filipino Tourists by the End of the Year
Over 900,000 tourists from the Philippines traveled to Hong Kong in 2017, the most from any other country in Southeast Asia. The number was closer to one million by 2019. It all came crashing down in 2020, however, because of the pandemic.
This year, Hong Kong is targeting to attract at least 80 percent of all the tourists from the Philippines. According to the Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AAHK) there has been a gradual recovery of demand from Filipino tourists, reaching about 40 to 45 percent today.
“We expect that by end of this year, 80 percent of travel will come back,” said AAHK COO Vivian Cheung. “And then end of next year, 100 percent of travel will come back. Today it’s about 40 percent to 45 percent—it’s not bad actually.”
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Cheung spoke at a special media briefing of the AAHK to announce the World of Winners campaign, a global ticket giveaway initiative that offers 500,000 free tickets to Hong Kong.
Distributed in phases by Hong Kong’s three home-based airlines: Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Express, and Hong Kong Airlines, the campaign will raffle off 135,000 tickets in Southeast Asia markets, including the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.
About 22,000 tickets will be given to residents in the Philippines via the three airlines’ promotional activities starting Friday, March 3. After the Southeast Asia markets, the campaign will continue in Northeast Asia, Mainland China, and other markets.
The free tickets were sponsored by AAHK in 2020 as part of a package of relief measures for Hong Kong’s aviation industry during the pandemic. The AAHK provided liquidity support to the home-based carriers up front, with a plan for airlines to use the tickets for promoting traffic recovery after the pandemic.
“Hong Kong has fully opened up and we are eager to welcome visitors from different parts of the world,” Cheung said. “Travelers visiting Hong Kong are no longer required to have received Covid-19 vaccination or undergo testing or quarantine upon arrival. And from today wearing a face mask is no longer mandatory in Hong Kong. At Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), the terminal has been extensively refurbished, with various new services and facilities providing passengers a brand-new airport experience.”
Hong Kong opened its borders without Covid-19 restrictions two months ago. The territory has also dropped the mandatory wearing of masks, one of the last countries in the region to do so. Cheung also highlighted some of the HK airport’s improvements and refurbishments, including a new Sky Bridge, which is touted as the world’s longest airside footbridge; a renovated shopping zone at Terminal 1; and smart technologies in different aspects of the airport’s service.
One of the busiest airports in the world, HKIA connects to over 220 destinations worldwide through over 120 airlines.