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'World's Biggest Welcome' Gets People Reeling To Invite Overseas Friends And Relatives

27 Jan 2002

"Cathay Pacific - The World's Biggest Welcome" entered its second day today and the response from the Hong Kong public continued to be very enthusiastic. As many people couldn't get an entry form on Saturday, Cathay Pacific introduced a new measure whereby copies of the form are replenished at each pickup point every morning, afternoon and evening. Extra copies of the form are being placed at the six MTR stations - Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Kowloon Tong, Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui - where people can drop off completed forms.

News about this special promotional campaign, in which Cathay Pacific will give away 10,000 return air tickets, has spread quickly. More than 25,000 completed forms were collected on the first day, and today saw more crowds gathering at the pickup points at MTR stations eager to get their chance to win tickets for their nominated friends or relatives overseas.

Mrs Chan's two stepdaughters migrated to New York and Boston more than 40 years ago and their elderly father is now chronically ill. She says her stepdaughters have not been able to afford to come back to Hong Kong in all these years. Mrs Chan couldn't hold back the tears as she said how she would love to win tickets so she could bring them back home to see their father again.

Ms Kwan said she would nominate her uncle in England, who has never been to Hong Kong. Ms Kwan said The World's Biggest Welcome campaign would help to boost the local economy, as those coming from overseas will be keen to buy things when they get here. "My relatives are always asking me to send them things, and I know they will go on a big shopping spree when they come to Hong Kong," said Ms Kwan.

Local student Mr Ma said he would nominate his English teacher from when he studied in Australia. He said his language skills improved tremendously under his Australian teacher's guidance and he really wanted to reward her with a trip to Hong Kong.

Mr and Mrs To came from Shanghai many years ago. Mrs To said her sisters had migrated to Canada, Taiwan and South Africa and they have seldom been able to see each other over the years. She said she will try her luck in The World's Biggest Welcome and maybe her sisters can come back to visit their parents in Hong Kong.

Another hopeful entrant, Mr Swaninathan, has been working in Hong Kong for many years now. He said he doesn't get many opportunities to see his wife and daughter in India, and if he wins he'd love to bring his wife over to visit him.

Cathay Pacific launched The World's Biggest Welcome on 25 January, giving away 10,000 return air tickets for Hong Kong residents to invite their friends and relatives living overseas to visit Hong Kong between 3 April and 3 July 2002. The aim of the promotion is to give a boost to the local tourism industry and allow Hong Kong citizens to be reunited with loved ones from overseas.

Free entry forms are available at MTR stations, 18 District Offices, and Cathay Pacific check-in counters at both the In-Town Check-In and Hong Kong International Airport. Completed entry forms can be dropped off before midnight of 2 February 2002 at official collection counters located at the MTR stations at Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok and Kowloon Tong. Forms can also be dropped off at Cathay Pacific check-in areas at Hong Kong International Airport.

Participants are reminded that nominees' names must be identical to the names shown on their passports, otherwise entries could be declared void. For each entry form only one destination can be chosen, though people are free to select more than one destination using different entry forms. All entry forms must be dropped off at specific collection boxes according to the nominated destinations.

A total of 10,000 tickets are up for grabs. The first 100 winners picked at draws held at Times Square between 30 January and 2 February 2002 will win an additional two free tickets for themselves to travel overseas. A Grand Draw on 5 February will determine the winner of a special Mega Prize from those 100 lucky winners. The remaining winners will be drawn on 6 February 2002 and notified by mail.