At the same time, the Philippines will implement e-visas for Chinese, Indian, South Korean and Japanese tourists, to be available this year.
With plans to boost its tourism and aviation industry under the 'Hello Hong Kong' campaign, Hong Kong will be giving out 500,000 free air tickets to travellers for its main markets.
Called the "World of Winners" giveaway, a majority of these tickets will be distributed in phases by three home-based airlines through their respective channels in major passenger markets by different mechanisms, such as lucky draw, first-come-first-served, "Buy 1 or more – Get 1 Free", or games. The airlines involved are:
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Hong Kong Express
- Hong Kong Airlines
A certain portion of the tickets will be provided to the travel trade and government bodies for promoting tourism and Hong Kong.
Apart from the 500,000 tickets for overseas travellers, around 80,000 tickets will be given away through the airlines to Hong Kong residents in summer 2023, in addition to the 60,000 tickets provided to local residents to encourage vaccinations in 2021. Some tickets will be given away in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
In total, more than 700,000 tickets will be given away across various markets through different channels.
The tickets giveaway campaign will be rolled out in phases by region, with the first phase starting from 1 March 2023 for the Southeast Asia market. The exact launch dates will be announced near to the date by the airport authority and by each airline.
|Southeast Asia (for inbound)||1 March onwards|
|Mainland China (for inbound)||April onwards|
|Northeast Asia (for inbound)||May onwards|
|Hong Kong (for outbound)||July onwards|
|Other markets (for inbound)V||May onwards|
Those interested should note that tickets sponsored by airport authority are economy class, and all related surcharges, fees and taxes would be borne by the winners of the tickets. All tickets are round-trip tickets to/from Hong Kong, subject to restrictions and terms and conditions as imposed by the airlines.
Tax refunds for tourists' purchases in the Philippines by 2024
In similar news, the Philippines is also aiming to attract more tourists, targeting 4.8mn international visitors this year – up from the 2.65mn who came in 2022.
As part of this effort, tourists will be able to get tax refund for purchases in the Philippines by 2024. There is currently a 12% value-added tax (VAT) on nearly all sales of services and imports. With this, foreigners will get a VAT refund on items they take with them when they leave.
At the same time, e-visas for Chinese, Indian, South Korean and Japanese tourists will also be available this year.
Lead image / Screenshot from Hong Kong Tourism Board