Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: February 9, 2006

THE INDIAN HOTELS CO., operator of Taj Hotels, opened its newest property, Blue Woolloomooloo Bay, Sydney. The five-year-old, 100-room property on the Finger Wharf was previously a W Hotel. The opening represents Tajs first establishment in Australia. The acquisition price was $27.1 million. Under its new ownership its now one of the Leading Small Hotels of the World. The Taj chain now comprises 73 hotels worldwide. For reservations, call (866) 969-1825 or visit www.tajhotels.com.

CATHAY PACIFIC introduced a new All Asia Pass that enables its bearer to travel to any of 18 Asian cities freely during a 21-day period. The pass, valid through May 18 and from Aug. 21 through Dec. 1, is priced at $1,499 per person; customers registered as Cathay Pacific CyberTravelers are entitled to a $200 discount. All bookings must be made through travel agents; commission is $100. The pass includes roundtrip economy class air between New York (Kennedy), San Francisco or Los Angeles and Hong Kong and unlimited travel between Hong Kong and Bangkok; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Denpasar, Bali; Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo, Japan; Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia; Karachi, Pakistan; Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Seoul, Korea; Singapore; Taipei, Taiwan; and Tokyo. For more information, see www.cathaypacific.com/us.

THE LUXURY TRAINS, based in Milton, Del., introduced a new train trip in India called Heritage on Wheels. The program comes in a three-night version that visits Jaipur, Bikaner, Deshnok, Gajner, Nawalgarh, Mandawa, Ramaarh and Churu. The trip embarks every Tuesday and Friday. A seven-night program also is available. It starts every Sunday and Wednesday and travels from Delhi to Jaipur by luxury air-conditioned SUV, then joins the three-night program. The program is completed with an SUV trip from Jaipur, with an overnight in Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The price per day is $300 for single occupancy, $200 for double occupancy and $150 for triple occupancy. For more information call (877) 90-INDIA, e-mail [email protected] or cruise over to www.theluxurytrains.com.

ACCORDING TO THE PACIFIC ASIA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION, the number of Koreans traveling abroad surpassed the 10 million mark in 2005 for the first time, a 14.2% jump from the year before. Asia was the most popular destination for Koreans, accounting for 72.6% of the travel. The Americas were next with 8.1%; Europe clocked in with 5.8%; and the Pacific at 4.5%. Koreas inbound tourism also is on the rise with 6 million arrivals in 2005, up 3.5% from 2004 and a record. For more information, log on to www.pata.org.

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