NEW YORK --
Abercrombie & Kent continues to grow in the Asia/Pacific
region, as the company added eight itineraries for 2006, six of
which are in Asia proper.
India was a
particularly good destination for A&K in 2005; business to the
country was up 55% from the year before.
In fact, business
has been booming so dramatically in the subcontinent that A&K
opened an on-site office in Jaipur in 2005 to handle its ground
Our most dramatic
growth in Asia is probably in India, said Pamela Lassers, A&Ks
director of media relations. But were up in pretty much all of the
The emergence of
quality accommodations and airline operations in India has helped
fuel an increase in travel there.
hotel chains -- Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, and Taj Hotels, Resorts
and Palaces -- are responsible for much of A&Ks growth, said
Even for many of
our well-traveled people, the [Oberoi and Taj] hotels are like
nothing they have seen before, she said.
And in terms of
interior transportation, the quality of domestic air travel has
improved with the emergence of Jet Airways.
A&Ks gains in India are impressive, the companys 48% growth in
China in 2005 over 2004 represented an even larger
dollar-for-dollar gain because it is predicated on a much larger
China is still
growing dramatically, said Lassers. Thats why we opened all these
new itineraries, new product and new departures.
A&K last year
opened two offices in China, in Beijing and Shanghai.
In the past, we
managed everything from Hong Kong, said Lassers. But the Chinese
government is easing restrictions and allowing us to open on the
operators are no longer required to work through
government-controlled China International Travel Service. A&K
can now use its own employees, supplemented by specialist guides at
With a clientele
consisting of predominantly high-end, well-traveled customers, the
bulk of A&Ks growth in Asia is taking place on the frontiers of
mainstream travel, to exotic destinations such as Mongolia, Bhutan
So many of our
clients have traveled to China before. Theyve done the highlights:
the Yangtze, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, said Lassers. Now they are
base wants authentic experiences outside of the Western world and
an escape from the information explosion, the Internet and
satellite TV, she said.
One of the new
tours for 2006 designed to meet that need is Temples and Dragons of
Bhutan and Darjeeling.
have been to Bhutan, which has recently become more open to
Westerners, with more accommodations that are up to Western
The Temples and
Dragons tour is part of A&Ks Explorer series, which is designed
for groups of 10 to 16 people touring remote
develops new tours for the Explorer series by observing which
destinations are popular with FIT clients, crafting an itinerary
and then inviting its most frequent travelers on a trial Marco Polo
trip, to gauge the reaction of clients.
use the best available accommodations in the area, which are not
always five-star but are always culturally authentic, Lassers
Temples and Dragons itinerary starts with a tour of Delhi with two
nights at the Oberoi Delhi hotel. Clients then fly to Bhutan, where
they stay at the Hotel Druk in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
There, the group visits the Textile Museum, the Traditional
Medicine Hospital and the School of Arts and Crafts.
The group then
drives high into the Himalayas, visiting monasteries, villages,
museums and monuments in Paro and Phuentsholing in Bhutan, and then
Other new A&K
itineraries for 2006 are Highlights of Vietnam, Grand Siam and
Asian Wonders, Highlights of Imperial China, Footsteps of the Khans
and Tibet and Beyond.
information, call (800) 323-7308 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].