Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: Oct. 30, 2004

SHANGRI-LA HOTELS AND RESORTS said it will operate a new hotel in Baotou, a city in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in mid-2007. This will be the group's first property in the region. The 348-room Shangri-La Hotel Baotou will be a 30-minute drive from the airport. Baotou is an industrial center on China's Huang He River, the site of a large, integrated iron-and-steel complex and manufacturing hub. The hotel will feature traditional Shangri-La services and amenities such as 24-hour room service, dataports, satellite TV, and the Horizon Club with a dedicated lounge and butler service.

TAJ HOTELS, RESORTS AND PALACES said it will operate the Green Cove Resort & Spa in the fishing village of Kovalam near Kerala, India. The 75-room resort is scheduled to open in December. The resort will consist of 57 hillside and 18 "floating" cottages spread across 10 beachside acres. The resort will include a spa and fitness center, a conference facility with room for 150 people and three restaurants.

SINGAPORE continues to enhance and revitalize its Chinatown neighborhood, one of the country's oldest and unique places of interest. More than 3,000 visitors a day are flocking to the new Chinatown Night Market, which offers a mix of retail goods ranging from traditional Chinese handicrafts to contemporary apparel, electronic goods and jewelry. During the evening, market shoppers are entertained by Chinese wayang performances (shadow puppets) and Chinese songstresses. Also new in Chinatown is a series of 33 heritage markers that tell the stories behind key streets, prominent buildings, places of worship and other attractions of historical significance. The markers are in English, Japanese and Mandarin. For more information about Singapore's Chinatown, explore the ethnic districts section at

THE AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS reported that overseas tourist arrivals to Australia grew by 14% to a record 3.3 million visitors in the first eight months of this year, signaling that Australia is on track to reach a record 5.2 million overseas visitors this year. Arrivals from the U.S. and Canada, two of Australia's top markets, were up compared to the same period last year, with the U.S. up 10% and Canada up 22%.

PASSENGERS OF SINGAPORE AIRLINES AND VIRGIN ATLANTIC will be able to make convenient connections between Singapore and three East Coast cities, starting Oct. 31. That's when the two airlines expand their code-share agreement, which will allow Singapore's passengers on its daily Singapore-London service to connect to Virgin's daily service to Boston, Washington and Miami. Singapore already code shares on Virgin's five-times-a-week service between Manchester, U.K. and Orlando, and Virgin code shares on Singapore's daily Singapore-Manchester and Singapore-London service.


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