AIRWAYS is offering an introductory commission rate on its
new nonstop flights between New York and Bangkok, Thailand, which
started May 1. The airline is paying travel agents 33% commission
on its Royal Silk class and 13% on its premium economy and economy
class seats. The 17-hour flights are the only non-stops between New
York and Bangkok and cut at least five hours off the time of the
trip. Thai Airways standard commission rate on its other flights is
8%. The reservations number, is (662) 280-0060 or see www.thaiair.com.
VIRGIN VACATIONS is offering a five-night package
to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam priced from $899 per person, double.
It includes roundtrip air from the West Coast, roundtrip airport
transfers, a five-night hotel stay with taxes and service charges,
daily continental breakfast and a half-day Ho Chi Minh sightseeing
tour. Roundtrip air is available from New York from $1,019 per
person, double, and from other gateways for more. Packages must be
purchased by May 19 for travel between Sept. 5 and Oct. 23. See www.virgin-vacations.com or call (888) 658-4744.
THE CHINA NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE (CNTO) hopes to
boost interest in travel to China with a $1.6 million advertising
campaign, the largest in its history, which will kick off June 2.
Plans include mounting posters in the corridors of Grand Central
Station in New York during June. In addition, CNTO will post
billboards near the George Washington Bridge and Lincoln Tunnel and
will also run ads in USA Today for 20 weeks.
CONRAD HOTELS, the luxury brand of Hilton
International, will open two new properties in Asia over the next
two years. On July 1, the company will open the 290-room Conrad
Tokyo. A short walk from the Ginza district, it will offer
panoramic views of the Hamarikyu gardens and the Tokyo Bay skyline.
Conrad will open the Conrad Phuket Resort and Spa in early 2006 in
Phuket, Thailand. The property will offer Panwa villas, private
infinity pools, spa treatments, a fitness center, wireless
Internet, private beach, flood-lit tennis courts and meditation
platforms. For Hilton Reservations Worldwide, call (800) 266 7237,
or see www.conradhotels.com.
SWAIN TOURS, a longtime specialist in high-end,
personally tailored trips to Australia and New Zealand, introduced
a series of small-group escorted programs to China. The groups are
limited to a maximum of 12 members. Swain offers an 11-night
Yangtze Cruise Adventure that includes stops in Beijing, Xian and
Shanghai, as well as a four-night Yangtze River cruise from
Yichange to Chongqing. The air-inclusive price starts at $2,540 per
person, double. The 13-night Traditional China package cuts a broad
swath through China and includes stops in Shanghai, Suzhou,
Beijing, Xian and Guilin. The air-inclusive price starts at $3,402
per person, double. The reservations line is (800) 227-9246. The
entire selection of tours can be seen at www.swaintours.com.
OKAY AIRWAYS became Chinas first private airline
when it launched its first flight March 11 from Binhai
International Airport in Tianjin. Chinas first non-government
airline will offer charter services from its Tianjin base to
Kunming, Changsha, Zhang Jiajie, Guilin, Hohhot, Taiyuan and
Haerbin. Other routes will be added as the fleet