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LCQ13: Expressing gratitude to Mainland personnel who assisted Hong Kong in fighting epidemic
     Following is a question by the Hon Shiu Ka-fai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (March 29):


     The Government has launched the "Hello Hong Kong" global promotional campaign, with measures including giving away 500 000 air tickets to travellers in major passenger markets in phases from March this year onwards, and handing out 80 000 air tickets each to travellers from the Mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and members of the public of Hong Kong in summer this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider allocating some of these air tickets for giving away to members of the Mainland medical support team and Mainland engineering personnel who came to Hong Kong to support the treatment of patients and assist in the construction of community isolation facilities respectively during the period when the Coronavirus Disease 2019 epidemic was severe, as well as their family members, so as to express gratitude to them; if so, of the details; if not, whether the Government will study other proposals to thank the medical and engineering personnel concerned as well as their family members, such as purchasing additional air tickets from home-based airlines and giving them away to such personnel and their family members?



     Upon consultation with the Health Bureau and the Development Bureau, we provide a consolidated reply as follows:

     The around 500 000 air tickets were purchased by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) from three locally-based carriers in advance in April 2020 to support locally-based carriers whose business had been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and relieve pressure on their cashflow, as well as to increase the passenger throughput at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in the post-pandemic era with a view to speeding up airlines' recovery and in turn boosting the business of upstream and downstream supporting services. To complement the Government’s "Hello Hong Kong" global promotional campaign, the AAHK launched the "World of Winners" Tickets Giveaway Campaign on March 1, 2023, to give away the aforementioned air tickets mainly in Hong Kong’s major air passenger markets (such as Southeast Asia, the Mainland, Northeast Asia and other markets) through the respective channels of the relevant locally-based carriers concerned and in accordance with the laws and regulations of the respective markets. Some tickets have also been given to the tourism sector and public organisations for distribution to stimulate the tourism industry and promote Hong Kong.

     The six-month tickets giveaway campaign is being rolled out in different markets. We believe that it is conducive to the recovery of Hong Kong’s aviation and tourism industries, as well as the consolidation and enhancement of Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub.

     The aforesaid campaign aims to support locally-based carriers and stimulate passenger traffic at HKIA so as to boost tourism and promote Hong Kong. We are open to suggestions that will help to achieve the above objectives.

     As for the dispatch of Mainland medical support team to assist in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and the Mainland construction crew to construct the community isolation and treatment facilities in the Lok Ma Chau Loop by the Central People's Government (CPG) and Guangdong Provincial Government (GPG) at the request of the HKSAR Government in early 2022 for helping combat the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HKSAR Government has separately expressed its deepest gratitude to the CPG, GPG, relevant Mainland medical team and Mainland construction crew for their provision of critical assistance during the most severe period of the pandemic. 
Ends/Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:33
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