Workers in Hong Kong to travel for free, thanks to virtual platform

A Hong Kong restaurant group has become the latest organization to employ a virtual platform that lets workers from overseas travel across the globe for work.

Polygon Restaurants group has tapped online ticket service StubHub to facilitate the free travel for 250 of its workers over the next six months, which will come in handy if Hong Kong changes visa regulations soon.

“If the new border check comes through, then people won’t be able to keep working in Hong Kong anymore,” employer Sean Robertson told The Telegraph. “Then we have to figure out how to compensate them in full.”

The operations director of Polygon has also pointed out that it will ease the workload of some of the staff.

“They don’t feel the demands of their job by themselves anymore,” Robertson said. “Now they have the chance to see their family. The travel is such a great opportunity for our [expat] staff to see family and see what it is like to be over here.”

In recent years, the average cost of regular flights between the two cities has soared to more than $2,000 one way, though fares can change depending on the location. A total trip from Hong Kong to London can cost around $6,500 one way, according to prices on StubHub.

The effort was prompted by last year’s forced relocation of the public bus service by the area’s government amid increasing congestion in the city. After that, the High Court ordered the government to move the migrants for good – a deadline of 2025.

The other successful use of StubHub’s virtual travel platform comes from Eventim, the Denmark-based company behind Scramble Breakfast (and Girl Meets World).

Last December, London-based Eventim took 150 staff on a six-month European tour, with trips across the continent, Peru, and Italy. The company explained at the time that the virtual travel sessions were so effective because the majority of staff had never left the country before.

“It was great fun,” Team Member Kevin told Startup Grind last November. “It was really convenient, the travel to the UK was no problem whatsoever. [It was] also the first time that people from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland went together. It’s an experience which changed people’s lives, we weren’t using any passports after this, we did have an ID card though.”

Like this story? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Leave a Comment