28th September 2022 – (Hong Kong) The second tranche of the second phase of electronic consumption vouchers will be distributed on 1st October. Eligible citizens can receive HK$3,000 (via non-Octopus) or HK$2,000 (via Octopus). For Octopus users, registrants should first collect the consumption vouchers by tapping the registered Octopus card/key through designated channels before use. The collection deadline is 30th September 2023 while consumption vouchers will be deposited into the registered SVF account automatically on the disbursement date for registrants via AlipayHK, BoC Pay, PayMe from HSBC, Tap & Go and WeChat Pay HK.
Meanwhile, the government has relaxed the inbound quarantine measure to “0+3” arrangement effectively scrapping hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals in Hong Kong. Many citizens have scrambled to purchase air tickets to travel overseas after being stranded in the city for years. Japan has become to preferred choice after as it allows Visa-Free Travel from 11th October.
Many citizens are wondering if they can use the electronic consumption vouchers to book air tickets and hotels via travel agencies, airline websites or hotel booking websites. According to government regulations, local merchants are allowed to accept consumption vouchers. Therefore, citizens can book air tickets and hotels with consumption vouchers at local travel agencies or local travel websites. They can also book flights through the online systems of local airlines. AlipayHK said that as long as local companies accept AlipayHK, Hong Kong residents can pay with consumption vouchers. The payment platform provided by each travel agency is different. However, members of the public should note that some travel agency’s website system may not accept consumption vouchers. However, citizens can go to their branches in person and pay with AlipayHK or Tap&Go consumption vouchers.
The payment platform provided by each airline is different. Cathay Pacific stated that as long as the selected payment platform supports consumption vouchers, the vouchers can be used, and the excess amount can be paid by the balance in the user’s account e-wallet. The user is reminded to make sure that the website is operated by a local company before making payment with consumption vouchers. Payment with consumption vouchers cannot be made directly through the website of a non-local airline. However, if the public makes a reservation through a local travel agency, they can use the payment platform accepted by the travel agency to pay with consumption vouchers, but it also depends on whether the travel agency provides the relevant airline seats.