Japan Rail East Pass now available to agents via AccesRail

The Japan Rail East Pass is now available for purchase through AccesRail, which pays 8% commission on pass sales.

The Japan Rail East Pass is good for a 465-mile stretch of the eastern part of the island of Honshu, including Tokyo's metropolitan rail system and the Narita/Tokyo Express Train, or NEX. Agents can issue the passes via their GDS on AccesRail's IATA carrier code, 9B. Passes are available for either Green (superior) or Ordinary (standard) class travel.

The GDSs convert prices from Japanese yen to dollars at the exchange rate in effect on the day of purchase.

PDT offers air-inclusive packages

Pacific Delight Tours is offering seven Kaleidoscope itineraries to China and Hong Kong that include air from 35 U.S. cities. 

Multicity itineraries include Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Suzhou and Hong Kong as well as cruises on the Yangtze River with Victoria Cruises.

For example, the five-night Beijing Kaleidoscope is available from $968 per person; the five-night Hong Kong Kaleidoscope is priced from $1,138. Hotel, sightseeing and transfers are included.

Visit www.pacificdelighttours.com or call (800) 221-7179.

India hotel company eyes expansion

India's Leela Hotel Group plans to double its room inventory during the next three years as part of an expansion plan that calls for six new hotels throughout India. Leela currently operates four five-star hotels in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kovalam and Goa.

The first of the six new hotels will open in Gurgaon next spring, followed by Udaipur in winter 2008, Chennai in winter 2009 and South Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune in 2010.

Big Five's Last Shangri-La

Big Five Tours & Expeditions launched the Last Shangri-La, a 14-night program to Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

Participants visit a Tibetan refugee camp to meet carpet weavers, craftspeople in Nepal's ancient capital of Patan and a Bhutan painting school. Tours to remote villages in Nepal can be arranged.

Other highlights are visits to Tibetan capital Lhasa, Nepal's Chitwan National Park and the eastern Himalayas in Bhutan.  

Land-only pricing starts at $7,490 per person, double, and covers flights within Asia, hotel taxes/service charges, some meals, hotel/airport transfers and all sightseeing. Prices are valid until Oct. 31.

For more info, visit www.bigfive.com or call (800) 244 3483.

Ritz introduces land-cruise tour

Ritz Tours introduced an 11-night Yangtze Special package combining stays in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai with a Yangtze River cruise with Victoria Cruises.

The package costs from $2,769 per person, double, and includes air, hotel, sightseeing, meals and the services of experienced guides.

Departures are scheduled for Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Oct. 12, 19 and 26. For information or reservations, call (800) 900-2446 or visit www.ritztours.com.

Kenneth Kiesnoski is Travel Weekly's Destinations Editor. E-mail him at [email protected].

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