Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: March 1, 2007

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP said it will manage the 120-room InterContinental Hua Hin Resort in Thailand when it opens in the fourth quarter of 2008. The property, which is being developed by Proud Resort Hua Hin Co., will occupy a prime beachfront location along Petchakasem Road. The resort will feature Thai-style rooms and three beachfront villas with plunge pools. All rooms will have spacious outdoor areas with daybeds and a dining space. Facilities will include a spa; five pools; specialty Thai-Chinese, Japanese and grill restaurants; and a tea lounge.

RESPONDING TO DEMAND, Ritz Tours has added seven additional departures to its Premier Series, 16-night Majestic China and Yangtze River itineraries in September and October. With the move, Ritz will offer two departures on each of the following dates: Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and Oct. 7 and 21. The operator said it made the decision to double the number of departures for the itinerary after almost all fall 2007 dates were sold out. Prices start at $4,299 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare from Los Angeles or San Francisco, air within Asia, accommodations in five-star hotels, guided sightseeing and most meals. For information or reservations, call (800) 900-2446 or visit

ASIA TRANSPACIFIC JOURNEYS has created a 12-night Southern India itinerary scheduled for Feb. 18 to March 2, 2008. The land cost is $5,495 per person, double, including accommodations in five-star and boutique hotels, most meals, sightseeing and the services of guides. Medical and evacuation insurance is included. Cities visited on the trip will include Mumbai, Madurai, Kerala and Kochi. While in Kerala, clients will stay at the Coconut Lagoon Resort, a thatched-roof-style property accessible only by boat. In Mumbai, where the trip begins, customers will stay at the Taj Mahal Mumbai Hotel. For information or reservations, call (800) 642-2742 or visit

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES has launched a number of customer service enhancements including in-flight upgrades such as offering free cocktails to all adult passengers flying in first class from Guangzhou, China, to Beijing, Los Angeles, Paris and Sydney. Meanwhile, the carrier has promised to deliver customers' luggage within 15 minutes of arriving at the jetway in any Chinese city. The airline also has established "Customer Experts," or airline ground staff charged with meeting first class passengers arriving in China and guiding them through local connections. China Southern recently began enabling customers to print boarding passes from its Web site [] within 12 hours of departure. The service is currently available in 13 Chinese cities, with plans to expand to 28 cities by the end of this year.

THE FIJI ISLANDS VISITORS BUREAU has named Cherrill Watson director of marketing, replacing Josefa Tuamoto, who joined Blue Lagoon Cruises. A Fiji citizen, Watson will be responsible for the planning, budgeting and management of all marketing activities for the Fiji Islands. Watson previously held positions as director of marketing for Sheraton Fiji Resorts, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Four Seasons Resorts in Bali.

Asia-Pacific Editor: Jorge Sidron

Phone: (973) 898-0011

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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