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Cathay Pacific greets first "World's Biggest Welcome" winners

03 Apr 2002


Cathay Pacific Airways today greeted the arrival of the first "Cathay Pacific -The World's Biggest Welcome" winners in a ceremony at the Hong Kong International Airport. Some 52 winners plus travelling companions from nine countries and territories were expected to arrive today - the first day that winners were entitled to use their free Cathay Pacific round-trip ticket to Hong Kong.

The very first two winners arrived this morning from Taipei. The largest group of 19 visitors arrived in the afternoon from Sydney, Australia, to a welcome ceremony outside the airport arrival hall hosted by Cathay Pacific Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Chen, and Hong Kong Tourism Board Director Corporate Support Mrs Grace Lee.

Each winner was presented with a special "Welcome Pack" that includes discount offers good at hundreds of hotels, restaurants and stores in Hong Kong. All 10,000 "World's Biggest Welcome" visitors will receive the same pack of offers as they arrive between 3 April and 3 July.

Representatives from across the Hong Kong tourism industry, from coffee shops to jewellers, and hotels to harbour tour groups have joined the campaign to take part in welcoming the 10,000 winners.

The offers include a $700 shopping coupon to use in the Times Square shopping mall, a free two-hour harbour cruise courtesy of Jetway Express, a free trip on the Airport Express from MTR Corp and a $100 coupon valid at any Maxim's restaurant.

The first arrival from Taipei, Mr Chiu Chi Han, said he met his nominator Mrs Lui Lai Yiu in an Internet chat room. They have visited one another before, but this time Mr Chiu brought his sister and her friend along for a five-day trip.

The other Taipei arrival, Ms Liao Jia Chyi, is an artist who met her nominator while studying in Italy. She has visited Hong Kong before and said she loves the local tea and Chinese 'cheung fun' - flat rice noodles with sweet sauce. She said: "When I was studying in Italy, I learned a sentence in Cantonese 'I want to have hairy crabs in Hong Kong in September'. Three years later, I did come to Hong Kong in September but it wasn't the season for crabs. Nonetheless, I do like Hong Kong very much."

Among the first group from Sydney was Andrew Tse who said he used his free ticket to join other family members at his grandfather's 90th birthday celebration. Fiona Tam, who left Hong Kong when she was 11, said she is looking forward to shopping for clothes and visiting the outlying islands. And first-time visitor Matthew Rea said he would be hunting for discount computer-ware.

Mr Chen said: "The whole idea behind the 'World's Biggest Welcome' was to boost tourism by getting everyone in Hong Kong involved. I'm extremely delighted that so many in the tourism industry have given their generous support to this campaign. Everyone in Hong Kong should give our visitors an especially warm welcome."

HKTB's Mrs Lee said: "I am proud to say Cathay Pacific is one of our most supportive - and generous - of travel industry partners, committed to delivering what people the world over expect from Hong Kong in terms of quality service and customer satisfaction."

Mrs Lee added: "The 'World's Biggest Welcome' campaign is an effective one for Hong Kong. Besides boosting tourism by bringing in 10,000 people from all over the world to reunite friends and loved ones, it is encouraging people to fly again."

The "World's Biggest Welcome" lucky draw was staged in January and February. The 10,000 winners were able to invite a friend or relative living overseas to visit Hong Kong with a free return air ticket courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways. The draw attracted more than one million entries.
Australian visitor Matthew Rea at Hong Kong International Airport
Mr. Chiu Chi Han and Ms. Liaw Jia Chyi from Taipei were the very first "World's Biggest Welcome" arrivals
Scarlett Wong from Australia reunited with friends in Hong Kong