Cross-border travel between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau will fully resume from February 6, with no advanced reservation requirement and no cap on the number of passengers arriving from these two special administrative regions via land ports in Guangdong province, according to the State Council’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism – the country’s top COVID-19 control task force.
After the news was released, a large number of tourists logged into Tongcheng Travel, a ticket-ordering platform, to search for tourism-related information in Hong Kong and Macao. The popularity of tourism search in Hong Kong and Macao instantly increased by 371% and 324% respectively. Tourists who pay attention to Hong Kong mainly come from Guangdong, Fujian, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other provinces and cities.
According to the statistics of Mafengwo, a Chinese travel SNS website, Hong Kong hotels were the most searched content for tourists, and food and traffic were the most searched keywords. The search volume of “Shenzhen to Hong Kong” rose by 150%, and “Hong Kong Cuisine” rose by 133%.
According to data collected by Qunar, a Chinese online travel agency, the search volume of round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong increased sevenfold within half an hour since the news was released. According to Fliggy, a leading online travel platform backed by Alibaba, the search volume of air tickets to Hong Kong and Macao has doubled, among which residents in Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xiamen and other cities seem to have the most interest to visit.
According to Trip.com’s statistics, as of February 1, there were nearly 270 direct flights from Mainland China to Hong Kong every week. According to average fares sold in the most recent seven days, the prices of more than 20% of direct flights to Hong Kong were lower than those of the same period in 2019, and the prices of Cathay Pacific’s two direct flights from Hangzhou and Nanjing to Hong Kong were more than 30% lower than those in 2019.
In fact, as part of the “Hello Hong Kong” campaign, which was launched on February 2, 500,000 air tickets and consumption coupons covering restaurants, hotels, scenic spots and merchants, will be given away over the next six months, starting in March. This news has already pushed the popularity of Hong Kong to a new high.
Air tickets with a total value of HK $2 billion ($254 million) will be given out through three of Hong Kong’s carriers – Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines. Most of these air tickets are for short-haul routes, covering mainland China, Japan, South Korea and some Southeast Asian countries.
According to Mafengwo, tourists from first-tier and new first-tier cities accounted for more than 50% of the visitors to Macao this year. It is expected that from February 6, tourists from second-tier and third-and fourth-tier cities to Macao will see a substantial increase.