2022 is a pivotal year for Hong Kong in terms of travel. After strict border controls since the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, a relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions, which have been a major barrier to travel, has been observed in 2022.
With the circuit-breaker flight suspension measure that penalised airlines for importing COVID-19 cases in addition to mandatory quarantine measures for Hong Kong-based crew, the past couple of years have been challenging for airline players to navigate and survive in the local market. Players have downscaled, especially in terms of number of employees and capacity, due to limited commercial flights being able to take off and instead focused on diversifying revenue streams.
The staycation trend remains a main growth driver for local hotels in 2022 due to limited inbound arrivals. The Hong Kong Tourism Board offered staycation discounts for 20,000 bookings at 100 participating hotels including luxury hotels such as The Peninsula and The Upper House and popular staycation hotels like Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, driving up local consumer appetite and demand for staycations in the city.
With the popularity of staycation packages driving the tourism industry after the pandemic, online intermediaries such as Klook and KKday, which quickly responded to local demand, have managed to quickly capture share. Further leveraging of the staycation trend has been noted among online travel agencies as they attempt to survive and grow, providing better deals and exclusive value-for-money packages through collaborations with hotels, by providing a unique getaway experience for local consumers.
Considering the improving vaccination rates in Hong Kong, a further relaxation and eventual lifting of pandemic-related restrictions can be expected over the forecast period. The Third Runway System is also expected to be completed by 2024, increasing capacity to facilitate inbound arrivals and outbound departures to and from Hong Kong.
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