Hong Kong’s government is giving away 500,000 flight tickets in an effort to encourage tourism. The city’s tourism board has bought the tickets from airlines, including Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and its budget carrier HK Express, Fred Lam, chief executive officer of the Airport Authority, said at a briefing on Thursday. The giveaway will begin in March and last six months, he added.
The tickets will be distributed through the airline’s websites, as well as through its customer service hotlines and mobile apps. The winner of the first prize will be able to fly to any destination within the region with a round-trip economy class ticket, Lam said. The second and third prizes will be a pair of economy class tickets or one economy class ticket and an overnight stay at a hotel in Hong Kong.
There’s a 1 in 139,838,160 chance of winning the first prize, and there’s an additional “Snowball Pool” on special draws, such as those that coincide with unique festivals or public holidays. Employees with HKJC’s security and customer service departments will strictly check all materials used for the lottery, from boxing to transport, and both the balls and draw machine are carefully examined before they’re packed away.
However, it’s important to note that the flights won’t be completely cost-free, as winners will have to pay for related taxes and surcharges. Still, for those who plan to travel from Asia, this is an excellent opportunity to visit the city without paying anything other than a few dollars in airfare and accommodation.