Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: January 26, 2006

THE PACIFIC ASIA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (PATA) published its listing of international visitor arrivals in Asia Pacific destinations for third-quarter 2005. In terms of the growth of arrivals numbers over the same period in 2004, the top five countries in the region were Vanuatu (+50.9% growth), Cambodia (+41.7%), Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (+23.8%), Nepal (+23.8%) and Macau (+19.1%). Sixteen of the 37 destinations reported double-digit arrivals growth. The 37 destinations collectively gained 9.1% with 6.6 million additional international arrivals. Only two destinations reported double-digit losses: the Maldives (-25.6%) and Tonga (-21.5%). For more information, see www.pata.org.

THE HOTEL DE CRILLON in Paris will serve as the inspiration for a new chain of luxury hotels slated to open in several major cities around the world under the Crillon brand name. The luxury chain is the brainchild of the Starwood Capital Group, an investment management firm headed by Barry Sternlicht, the former CEO and founder Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Plans for the Crillon chain could include opening properties in such Asia-Pacific destinations as Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Mumbai. The chain is also expected to encompass resort destinations in the Far East. The hotels will include serviced residences, and amenities including dining options, fitness centers and spas.

VICTORIA CRUISES is kicking off the Year of the Dog with discounts on its Yangtze River cruises, bringing the prices down 40% from regular rates. The four-day Chongqing-Yichang downstream trip and the five-day Yichang-Chongqing upstream trip are both priced from $450 per person, double, in a standard cabin, including accommodations, meals, entertainment and on-board lectures. The eight-day roundtrip Chongqing-Yichang-Chongqing trip is priced from $800 per person, double, in a standard cabin with the same inclusions as above. The prices are valid for departures through mid-March. Call (800) 348-8084; e-mail [email protected]; or go to www.victoriacruises.com.

THE INTERCONTINENTAL HONG KONG completed construction on what it calls the largest Presidential Suite in Hong Kong, ringing in at 7,000 square feet and costing $2.5 million to build. The suite features five bedrooms; a duplex living room with two-story glass windows that look onto Victoria Harbor; a private study; a kitchenette; a 2,500-square-foot wrap-around terrace; a rooftop infinity pool and Jacuzzi, also overlooking the harbor; and a private gym. The room rate is about $11,183 per night, which includes 24-hour butler service, roundtrip airport limo transportation, access to Club InterContinental and wireless broadband Internet access. Bookings can be made for stays Jan. 31 and beyond by e-mailing [email protected]. For more information on the hotel, call (888) IC-HOTELS or visit www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com.

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