Travel Weekly's Asia-Pacific E-letter: September 5,2005

TRAFALGAR TOURS introduced an escorted tour of Australia called South Coast & Centre Spectacular. Its a 14-night trip with extended stays in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Warrnambool, Kangaroo Island, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Melbourne sightseeing includes the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance, and then the trip follows the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. The Ghan Train travels to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Visits to a camel farm and wine country also are included before returning to Sydney to visit the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, with side trips to Bondi Beach, Watsons Bay and the Gap with a luncheon cruise on Sydney Harbor. Prices start at $3,540 per person, double. For information, see www.trafalgar.com or call (800) 854-0103.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS is preparing packages for the celebration of the Chinese New Year -- the Year of the Dog -- in Hong Kong with departures that take place January 24, 25, 26 and 27. The basic package includes roundtrip air on United Airlines or Cathay Pacific; six nights accommodations; daily buffet breakfasts; roundtrip hotel transfers; a half-day island tour with Peak Tam and Sampan ride; VIP bleacher seats for the New Year parade on Jan. 29; a museum pass, welcome kit with city map and information on attractions and shopping; a complimentary memento for female guests; services of local hosts; baggage handling; and $100,000 flight insurance. The price starts at $1,263 per person, double. For more information, visit www.PleasantAgent.com or call (800) 242-9244.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES is paying travel agents 25% commission on flights to Kuala Lumpur originating from Los Angeles or Newark and 15% commission on flights originating from other U.S. cities with connections in Los Angeles or Newark. The rates apply for travel dates Sept. 1 through Nov. 15 and Jan. 1 through March 31, . Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 30. For information, call (800) 552-9264 or see www.malaysiaairlines.com.

SWAIN TOURS created a new Tahiti package that uses the new Air Tahiti Nui nonstop flights from New York. The package includes three nights in Tahiti and roundtrip air priced from $999 per person, double occupancy. Three-night extensions in Papeete are available for $366 per person; in Bora Bora, for $815 per person; and in Moorea, for $433 per person. The trips depart New York on Thursday afternoons and return Sundays (Wednesdays with an exension). The deal is available Oct. 27 to Dec. 12 and from Jan. 10 to March 31. From Los Angeles the prices are $60 less. See www.swaintours.com/tahiti or call (800) 227-9246.

THE HOTEL GRAND PALACE TOKYO joined the WorldHotels portfolio as a member of the chains First Class Collection.  Its the third Tokyo hotel to join the chain. The other two are members of the Deluxe Collection: the Akasaka Prince and the Cai-Chi Hotel Tokyo. WorldHotels also offers a Comfort Collection. The 464-room Hotel Grand Palace Tokyo is centrally located 10 minutes from Tokyo's Central Station and 32 miles from Narita Airport. The Grand Palace overlooks the gardens of Tokyos Imperial Palace and is within walking distance from Kitanomaru park and Budokan Hall. It houses five restaurants with European, French, Japanese and Chinese cuisines. For more information, log onto www.worldhotels.com.

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