New Cathay Pacific arrivals lounge takes wing in Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways opened its exclusive airport lounge at Hong Kong Airport on Oct. 1.

The Arrival lounge, the first airline-branded arrival lounge at the airport, is designed to provide arriving passengers with facilities to freshen up before heading into town.

The Arrival is located in the center passage connecting Terminal 1 with Terminal 2. Facilities and services offered include a buffet dining area; desktop computers with Internet access and WiFi connections; local and international newspapers; and eight fully equipped shower suites.

The Arrival is open to first-class passengers, members of the airline's Marco Polo Club with Gold or higher status and Oneworld Emerald passengers arriving on Cathay Pacific or Dragonair flights with a final destination of Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong dips in August

Hong Kong was visited by nearly 2.7 million visitors in August, a drop of 2.9% compared with August 2007, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

However, cumulative arrivals for the first eight months of 2008 were 19.6 million, or 7.3% more than the same period last year.

Visits were down slightly in August from all source markets except mainland China, which sent 0.8% more visitors that month. Hong Kong officials cited the global economic downturn as depressing arrivals. Visits from the Americas totaled 109,931 in August, a year-over-year drop of 15.8% compared with August 2007.

Of those travelers who did arrive in August, about 60.4% stayed in the city for at least one night, a 4.2% drop. Hotel occupancies across all categories in August was 85%, 6% lower than in August 2007.

New Uniworld savings, sights

Uniworld will debut a 16-day cruise and land vacation from Shanghai to Beijing, Treasures of China and the Yangtze, in 2009.

The firm also unveiled new savings: Couples who book a 2009 Uniworld cruise and tour to China and pay in full on or before Nov. 30 can save up to $400, and those who place a deposit on their cruise on or before Dec. 31 can save up to $200 per couple.

In all, Uniworld will offer nine China cruise itineraries, ranging from 10 to 20 days, in 2009.

The trips will showcase sights including the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian, Guilin's mountains, Tibet's Potala Palace and the Yangtze River's Three Gorges. 

Uniworld packages include river journeys with Victoria Cruises, the firm's partner in China.

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