One year later, the central government passed a broad national security law which gave authorities wide latitude in criminalizing speech and suppressing dissent in an area once known for its independence and freedom-loving legislature and newspapers. Numerous pro-democracy legislators were detained in large numbers, and prominent media outlets were forced into closure. (Several defendants will be tried in the largest ever security law case on Monday.

Then, for most of the coronavirus pandemic, the government sealed the territory’s borders and imposed some of the world’s harshest restrictions on daily life.

For weeks, beaches were closed. Playground equipment was secured with chain-link fencing and police tape. Because of a few positive cases, residential buildings were closed down. For a while, nearly everyone who arrived in the city, residents included, had to endure a three-week mandatory hotel quarantine.

The announcements on Thursday were the government’s latest effort to rebuild Hong Kong’s cratered tourism industry. In 2018, there were more than 65,000,000 visitors to Hong Kong, which was a significant increase from the previous year.

Hong Kong spent $6 million on public relations in 2020 to assist it “reconnect with the world and relaunch as soon as possible,” As a senior officer Put it last year.

This week, the government announced that its six-month pilot ticket giveaway, which was financed by a pandemic-era relief packageThe initial target audience for the tickets is travelers from Southeast Asia, but later it will be targeted at those from China mainland and other locations. Most of the tickets are refundable Will be available Cathay Pacific and other airlines based in Hong Kong will provide the majority of these services, while others can be accessed through tourism-related businesses.

Dino Chen, 26 years old, is a Hong Kong-based public relations specialist. She said that the campaign might attract visitors in the near term but she didn’t think it would work long-term. “unclear” atmosphere in the city’s political and cultural spheres helped make the overall outlook for tourism uncertain. (One example: Before Hong Kong’s long-awaited M+ contemporary art museum opened in 2021, pro-Beijing figures criticized pieces in its collection as an insult to China and called for them to be banned.)