TOURISM BOARD launched a marketing initiative in North
America in an effort to establish itself as a travel destination.
The board launched a new Web site (www.go2taiwan.net)
for North American consumers and a Web site for travel agents,
which is accessible from www.go2taiwan.net or directly at www.taiwanspecialist.com. The board intends to run a
series of print ads in the New York Times and Travel + Leisure as
well as commercials on CNN.
STARWOOD chose Chongqing as the site for its
30th property in China, the Sheraton Chongqing, which will open in
January 2008. As the main upstream embarkation point for Yangtze
cruises, Chongqing is experiencing a boom since the construction of
the Three Gorges Dam. It also received a boost since its
designation by the Chinese government in 1997 as one of Chinas four
highest-level municipalities, which are under direct federal
control. The 330-room Sheraton Chongqing will be located in the new
entertainment and commercial district on Nanbin Road, part of the
Chongqing Bund development. It will be Chongqings tallest
TOURS is offering a six-night package that includes Hong
Kong and Tokyo and is priced from $1,299 per person, double. The
package includes roundtrip air on United Airlines from Los Angeles
or San Francisco, roundtrip airport transfers by shuttle bus, three
nights in Hong Kong at BP International Hotel, a half-day
motorcoach tour of Hong Kong Island, three nights in Tokyo at the
New Takanawa Prince Hotel and a half-day Tokyo motorcoach tour.
Daily departures are available through March 6. Orient Flexi-Pax is
a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association. To book, call
(800) 545-5540. For more information, see www.orientflexipax.com.
HOTELS mounted an updated version of its Web site (www.shangri-la.com) that incorporates a
dynamic-packaging capability and new content. An enhanced booking
engine gives users the ability to compare rates and room types and
take virtual tours of the properties. The dynamic-packaging
software enables users to book airlines, car rentals, activities
and hotel nights. The site will also incorporate weather, currency
and destination information. Reservations booked online during
March will be entered into a Find Your Shangri-La contest. Fifty
winners a week will be drawn during March, for a total of 200
winners, who will receive complimentary rooms for their entire stay
at any Shangri-La hotel.
TRAVEL, an Australia-based company that owns Qantas
Vacations and Newmans Holidays, purchased Los Angeles-based tour
operator group ATS/Island in the Sun, which specializes in travel
to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji and other Pacific islands.
The acquisition price was $16.5 million.