Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: March 2, 2006

TOURISM AUSTRALIA is launching an audacious ad campaign using the tag line So Where The Bloody Hell Are You? The campaign will be launched March 7 with a week of promotional activities followed by print and TV ads. In formulating the campaign, the agency invested $6.2 million in the past 18 months on in-depth market research during which it interviewed 47,000 tourists around the world. The research showed that past promotional efforts have succeeded in generating a high level of awareness; however, what is now needed is for the awareness to be converted to actual travel. The new, more aggressive campaign is designed to accomplish that. To reach Tourism Australia, call (310) 695-3214 or visit

RITZ TOURS introduced a 10-night package called Yangtze Essence that combines stays in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai with a Yangtze River cruise. The tour is priced from $1,999 per person, double occupancy, plus taxes. The itinerary is designed as an introductory visit, and one that covers the most essential destinations for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to China, according to the operator. Included in Beijing are the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, Kunming Lake and a Peking Duck banquet, with an excursion to the Great Wall. In Xian, the tour includes the Terra Cotta Warriors, the city wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, with a performance at the Tang Dynasty Stage Opera. The Yangtze cruise on Victoria Cruises travels from Chongqing to Yichang and includes the Three Gorges. The program concludes in Shanghai, with visits to the Yu Garden, Nanjing Road and the Bund. For information, call (800) 900-2446 or (626) 289-7777; e-mail [email protected]; or visit

STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE plans to open a new Le Meridien branded hotel called Le Meridien Pattaya Resort, Thailand, along Jomtien Beach in Pattaya. The property, scheduled to open later this year, is an hour-and-a-halfs drive from Bangkok and less than an hour from Bangkoks new international airport. It will have 250 rooms, 11,000 square feet of meetings space, three eating establishments, an outdoor swimming pool and a full service spa. It will be Starwoods second property in Pattaya and its 17th in Thailand (12 are in operation and five are in development). For more information, see or

THE PALACE MUSEUM OF BEIJING (also known as the Forbidden City) and the World Monuments Fund extended their previous partnership to join together on a project for the restoration of Qianlong Garden in the Forbidden City. The partners have committed $15 million to $18 million over a 10-year period for the effort. The project will restore the gardens architectural and physical integrity. The PM and the WMF plan to bring in the worlds top experts in a number of areas, including conservation, architecture, technical and craftsmanship training, education, site interpretation and exhibition to work on the project.


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