Travel Weeklys Asia-Pacific E-letter: May 11, 2006

BIG FIVE TOURS & EXPEDITIONS newest package to China is the China Family Explorer, a nine-night tour that the company says blends sightseeing with a behind-the-scenes look at family life in China. Off-the-beaten-path cultural experiences include lunch hosted by a local family and a bicycle ride through a rural village that culminates with a stop for tea at a local farmers home. Other activities include a one-day cruise on the Li River, a climb on the Great Wall and visits to Beijings Forbidden City and the terra cotta soldiers in Xian. The tour costs $2,450 per person, double, including intra-China flights, the Li River cruise, most meals, sightseeing and the services of a guide. For departure information and reservations, call (800) 244-3483 or visit www.bigfive.com.

ASIA TRANSPACIFIC JOURNEYS released its fall lineup of Small Group itineraries to China, Burma, India, Bhutan, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) and Thailand. In all, the company, which specializes in high-end, in-depth tours, is offering 18 Small Group (16 customers or less) and Custom Journeys itineraries to 20 counties in the region this fall. The 11-night Small Group itinerary to Bhutan, departing Oct. 26, visits monasteries, farms and cultural centers, before culminating with a visit to the Jakar Tscechu festival in remote central Bhutan, which is visited by only 20% of Bhutans 8,000 annual visitors. The land cost is $5,595 per person, double, including accommodations, most meals, transfers, visa fees, gratuities, insurance and the services of tour guides. For information or to book, call (800) 642-2742 or visit www.asiatranspacific.com.

SHANGRI-LA HOTELS & RESORTS said it plans to open a new hotel in Guilin, China. The 418-room Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin is slated to open in early 2009. Hotel guest rooms will boast views of the Li Jiang River. Amenities will include 24-hour room service; same-day laundry and valet service; guest rooms with satellite TV and data ports; and broadband or wireless Internet service throughout the property. Dining and entertainment options will include a lobby lounge, a coffee shop, a specialty restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a pool bar and an entertainment center. The hotel also will have a 19,375-square-foot ballroom, plus a 3,015-square-foot auditorium.

GEARING UP for a major expansion in the Indian Sub-Continent, Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has opened a development office in New Delhi, India. Golden Tulip Southern Asia -- a joint venture between Golden Tulip and the Leyland Group, a real estate/hospitality firm -- will be particularly focused on developing properties in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP. and CIRQUE du SOLEIL said they will create a Cirque du Soleil show and build an 1,800-seat theater exclusively for it in the Cotai Strip, a Las Vegas-style master planned development that will include hotels, retail, entertainment and casino gaming facilities in Cotai, an area of reclaimed land between the islands of Taipa and Coloane in Macao. Las Vegas Sands will own and develop the theater, which will open for performances in the spring of 2008. Las Vegas Sands already has announced a number of projects for the Cotai Strip, including the Venetian Macao, a Four Seasons-branded hotel, a Traders-branded hotel; a Hilton-branded hotel and a Conrad-branded hotel.

Asia-Pacific Editor:

Jorge Sidron

Phone: (973) 898-0011

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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