The number of people passing through Hong Kong International Airport hit 2.1 million as travel restrictions eased and the Chinese mainland opened its borders with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).
The number marks a 2,900% growth from the same period in 2022.
Hong Kong International Airport was Asia’s busiest airport prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but three years of China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy put an end to that.
The 2.1 million visitors throughout January is only one-third the number of total people that went there in January 2019.
China’s sudden reopening, the Lunar New Year and the lifting of quarantine requirements for people heading to Hong Kong from abroad fueled the surge in numbers.
Journeys to Southeast Asia and Japan were amongst the most popular destinations, airport authorities confirmed.
To attract tourists to the SAR, Chief Executive John Lee has launched a tourism campaign that includes giving away over 500,000 free airline tickets.
It has also been estimated that visits to the SAR from the Chinese mainland could reach 78% of 2019 numbers.
The Chinese mainland is Hong Kong’s largest source of tourism and the city’s biggest trading partner.
[Cover image via Wikipedia]