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

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP signed an agreement with Today Hotels Pvt. Ltd. to manage the first Crowne Plaza hotel in India: the 234-room Crowne Plaza Gurgaon New Delhi. Set to open in the last quarter of this year, the hotel will be situated in the heart of Leisure Valley, the new city center of Gurgaon. The hotel will be marketed primarily to business travelers with extensive meetings and conference space, rooms with the latest technology and work areas, three restaurants and a fitness center.

MEANWHILE, InterContinental Hotels Group also signed four new contracts to manage hotels in China, adding 1,400 rooms to its inventory. The contracts include one Holiday Inn property in Xian, two Express by Holiday Inn hotels in Shanghai and an InterContinental hotel in Nanjing, expected to be one of the worlds tallest hotels. Shanghai Greenland Group, a major real estate and property management company in China, owns all the hotels. The hotels are scheduled to open between late 2006 and 2010.

CROSS COUNTRY INTNENATIONAL launched the Australian Bush and Beach Walk program, a six night itinerary in the region of Noosa in southeast Queensland. The trip includes six days of guided walking, six nights at the King Fisher Bay Resort and the Bellbird Lifestyle Retreat, a visit to Frasier Island and a trip to Rainbow Beach, among other activities. Trips are set for June 4; July 23; Aug. 6; Sept. 10; Oct. 22 and Nov. 5. The price is $1,900 per person, double, including meals, ferry fees and national park entry fees. Cross Country describes the difficulty of the walking portion of the trip as moderate, with some hills and rocky paths. For information or reservations, call (800) 828-8768 or visit www.walkingvacations.com.

RESPONDING TO CUSTOMER DEMAND, Gutsy Women Travel launched a 16-day China and Yangtze River cruise-tour program. The tour combines city stays with a cruise along the Yangtze River aboard the Victoria Star. Cities that will be visited are Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xian and Guilin. Departure dates are June 13 and Sept. 19. The price, based on departure from Los Angeles, starts at $3,469 per person, double, including intra-China flights, hotel accommodations, a five-day cruise and most meals. For information or reservations, call (866) IMGUTSY or visit www.gutsywomentravel.com.

CARNIVAL CORP. will enter the Asia market in July under its Costa Cruises subsidiary. Plans call for the 1,000-passenger Costa Allegra to operate five-day cruises from Shanghai with stops in Nagasaki, Japan, and Cheju, Korea. The first voyage is set for July 3. As part of the plan, the Allegra, built in 1992, will be renovated for about $14 million. Renovations will include a new spa, and a noodle and sushi bar.

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