Hong Kong: Hong Kong is ready to welcome the world back, its leader said Thursday, pledging more than half a million free flights.
The government's rebranding campaign, "Hello, Hong Kong", bills itself as an effort to tell "good stories" about the southern Chinese city.
Promising "no isolation, no quarantine and no restrictions" during a speech to business and tourism heavyweights, Chief Executive John Lee announced 500,000 free air tickets for visitors to experience the city's "hustle and bustle".
The giveaway will open in March, and mainly be distributed by local airlines Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines.
Another 80,000 tickets will be offered to residents in the summer, with the carriers yet to announce destinations.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is probably the world's biggest welcome ever," Lee said.
"I will personally carry the promotional messages of our prowess as the world's freest economy and China's international financial centre."
Speaking to AFP at the campaign launch, Peter Burnett, the former chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said "the proof will be in the pudding" for the reboot.
"At least they're doing something about it. And that to me is very, very encouraging."