As travel restrictions were relaxed 2.1 million passengers passed through Hong Kong International Airport in January and China reopened its borders for the first time since the pandemic began, there was a significant increase in the number of travellers passing through Hong Kong’s airport in the previous month.
an increase of nearly 2,900% from the same month last year. According to a press release from airport authorities, traffic to and from Southeast Asia and Japan saw the biggest increases.
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The decision by China to reopen its borders with Hong Kong, along with the pent-up demand for travel during the Lunar New Year break, contributed to the increase in travellers. The prolonged closure had a significant negative impact on the city’s economy, and it is eager to reclaim its status as a significant global financial hub and gateway to China, its largest source of tourism and largest trading partner.
Since China ended its Covid-Zero policy, Hong Kong is quickly removing pandemic restrictions and has essentially returned to normal, with the exception of a mask requirement. There are still a few laws in place that limit the number of tourists who can enter Hong Kong, including a daily cap on mainlanders.
Officials launched a tourism campaign this month in an effort to draw visitors; it includes giving away more than 500,000 free flights this year. In 2020, as part of a HK$2 billion ($255 million) rescue plan for the airline industry, the Airport Authority bought the tickets.
Prior to Covid,
Hong Kong had Asia’s busiest international airport. The airport’s traffic in January was only a third of what it was during the same time four years prior. After three years of self-imposed exile caused by the pandemic, protests, and the implementation of strict security laws in 2019 and 2020, the government wants to restore the city’s international reputation. The 3.5% decline in the gross domestic product last year was the third decrease in four years.