Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: March 28, 2005

PENINSULA HOTELS will launch a global customer-service center on April 1. The center will be available through toll-free numbers and will be staffed with people trained to assist customers with reservations, customer-service inquiries and hotel information in English, Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin. The global telephone number is (852) 2926 2888; the center can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

OUTRIGGER HOTELS & RESORTS signed a management deal for its first hotel in southeast Asia, a 98-suite resort on Legian Beach in Bali, between Kuta Beach and Seminyak. The $35 million property is slated for a 2006 opening. The hotel will feature two swimming pools, a beachfront restaurant, a cafe and bars, a business center and massage and fitness facilities. For more information, visit www.outrigger.com.

E.E.I. TRAVEL rolled out a series of packages to Thailand, leading with a five-night air-inclusive Bangkok package starting at $679 per person. The package includes roundtrip air, roundtrip airport transfers, daily breakfast, hotel taxes and service charges and a City & Temples tour. The price holds from April 1 through May 20, then jumps to $809 until June 6. From June 7 to Sept. 4, the price is $989. Then on Sept. 5, it drops down again to $679 through Oct. 25. Purchase deadlines vary. Other packages for Thailand from E.E.I. include an eight-night Bangkok and Hua Hin package from $1,039; a six-night Bangkok-Tokyo package from $1,059; and a six-night Hong Kong-Bangkok package from $1,089. Prices are per person, double, and listed for Los Angeles departures. Other gateways are available. Book at www.eeitravel.com or call (800) 927-3876.

VIRGIN VACATIONS unveiled the Taste of the South Pacific package, which includes visits to Nadi, Fiji; Auckland, New Zealand; and Sydney, Australia for a starting price of $1,949 per person, double. Included are roundtrip air from Los Angeles; roundtrip airport-hotel transfers in Nadi; air connections between Fiji, Auckland and Sydney; a four-night stay in Nadi; four nights in Auckland and four nights in Sydney; all hotel and service charges. Other departure gateways across the U.S. are available. New York, Washington and West Palm Beach are in the highest price bracket at $2,389. The price is valid for bookings completed by April 8 for travel between April 26 and August 26. See www.virgin-vacations.com or call (888) OK VIRGIN or (888) 937-8474.

AMERICAN AIRLINES will sponsor the U.S. Pavilion at World Expo 2005 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan March 25-Sept. 25. With 120 countries participating, the event is expected to draw 15 million visitors to Japan. For American Airlines it will be a good chance to showcase its new nonstop route from Chicago to the new Central Japan International Airport, which serves Nagoya in Aichi. AAs new Chicago-Nagoya service will begin April 3. For more information on World Expo 2005, see www-1.expo2005.or.jp/en/index.

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