Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: Sept. 7, 2006

SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL, the Hong Kong-based hotel company, signed an agreement with Mori Trust Co. to manage its first hotel in Japan. The 204-room Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, will occupy the top 11 floors of the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building, beside Tokyo Station. The hotel is scheduled to open in March 2009. Shangri-La said hotel guests will arrive by dedicated ground level elevators and check in at a 28th-floor lobby with views of Tokyo Bay. The hotel will mark the Japanese debut of Shangri-La's spa brand -- Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La. The property also will feature a 4,300-square-foot ballroom; 538-square-foot guest rooms; several retail shops; and a restaurant.

CONTINUING ITS EXPANSION IN CHINA, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said it will open its first Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Beijing, China, in July 2009. The 301-room Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian, will be owned by Beijing Yongtai Real Estate Development and operated by Starwood under a long-term management contract. The hotel will be part of a mixed-use complex that will include offices and retail shops. The hotel will feature 16,800 square feet of meetings space, three restaurants, a spa and health club and an indoor swimming pool. Starwood operates 28 hotels in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau, and has another 28 under construction.

TRAFALGAR TOURS has added free pre-tour nights to select packages to Australia and New Zealand this year and throughout 2007 when customers book and pay for their tours by Nov. 30, 2006. One night is included on itineraries such as the nine-night Discover Australia and the 12-night Highlights of Australia package. Packages with two free nights include the 15-night Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand package and the 15-night Tropical Rainforest and Barrier Reef itinerary. The free pre-tour nights are available in select cities where the tours originate, including Sydney and Melbourne in Australia Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand. For information or reservations, call (800) 854-0103 or visit www.trafalgar.com.

QANTAS AIRWAYS has added four Queensland,Australia, cities -- Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone and Gove -- to its Aussie AirPass, bringing the total number of Australian cities in the promotion to 21. The Qantas Aussie AirPass includes roundtrip economy air fare from the U.S. to Australia, plus three cities within Australia for one price. The current Aussie AirPass is available through Dec. 14. All Qantas transpacific flights include meals, bar service and seat-back entertainment screens in all classes. For information or reservations, call (800) 227-4691 or visit www.qantas.com/ca.

TOURISM AUSTRALIA has issued a statement on the death of Steve Irwin, the wildlife enthusiast of "Crocodile Hunter" fame who was killed by a stingray on Sept. 4 while filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, stating that "Australia and America has lost a great mate." Michael Londregan, Tourism Australia's vice president of the Americas, called Irwin the "bright, passionate face of Australia." Irwin's "extraordinary enthusiasm and passion for life, his unequalled devotion to the animal world, his big hearted love for his country and his efforts to get more Americans Down Under made us proud of him," Londregan added. Irwin's Australia Zoo in Queensland was a popular tourist attraction in Australia, and Irwin helped promote Australia with "boundless energy and enthusiasm," Londregan said. Irwin's television programs, including "The Crocodile Hunter," were seen in more than 100 countries. In addition to numerous TV appearances, Irwin appeared in the 2001 film "Dr. Dolittle 2."

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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