Hong Kong fully opened its doors on 6 February, admitting travellers without PCR tests or COVID vaccine requirements, reviving the city’s role as a global financial hub and gateway to Mainland China.
After the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government eased COVID-19 entry restrictions last month, ending the hotel quarantine requirement for inbound visitors, the city is gearing up to receive a rush of travellers. The Travel Industry Council expects departures to surge as much as 50% over the next few months. To lure visitors back to the city, meanwhile, the Hong Kong Tourism Board is set to offer 500,000 free airline tickets next year once all remaining travel restrictions are dropped.
Leaf through any pictorial history book on Hong Kong and you cannot avoid noticing that the city has always been closely linked to the sea – pages will be full of images of tea clippers, junks, sampans, steamers and container freighters.