Hong Kong travellers are becoming a common sight once again in
popular destinations all over the world, despite the city's strict
border control that still mandates its residents to undergo seven days
of quarantine in a designated quarantine facility upon returning back to
their home country.
Even the airfare hike is not enough to deter them. A return economy
ticket on Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Paris starts from
HK$81,669 (US$10,403) in July, while a two-way ticket between Hong Kong
and London will require travellers to fork out HKD35,674 (US$4,544).
According to the South China Morning Post, 91,181 people have left
Hong Kong in the first two weeks of July, a substantial increase
compared to the month of June where outbound travellers numbered only at
6,464 for the whole month.
Among the places that Hong Kongers are travelling to, London, Bangkok
and Singapore emerge as their top three favourite summer destinations,
subsequently followed by Paris and Toronto.
Tommy Tam Kwong-shun, chairman of the Society of IATA Passenger
Agents, an organisation representing IATA appointed agents in Hong Kong,
thinks that people may be travelling out of Hong Kong to attend to
business or visit family members they have not seen for a long time. He
also expects that that there may be a significant increase in Hong Kong
travellers soon if the government adjusts its quarantine policies.
Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau revealed that Hong Kong may ease
quarantine rules, the same day that China announced the reduction of its
quarantine period from 14 to seven days for inbound travellers. Lo says
that Hong Kong may cut hotel quarantine for travellers to five days,
with another two to be spent in home isolation.
Meanwhile, some hotels in Hong Kong have been quick to capitalise on
this pent-up demand for travelling abroad, with Four Points by Sheraton
Hong Kong, Tung Chung offering a “fun-filled quarantine stay package in
Hong Kong” that allows guests to spend their entire seven-day quarantine
duration in “the safety and tranquility” of its new property. Ovolo
Southside is also promoting its “ultimate Hong Kong quarantine hotel
experience” that comes with a specialised quarantine concierge and
MasterClass wellness programmes.