Ritz cancels fall departures of 'Hot Deals'

LOS ANGELES -- Limited air availability forced Ritz Tours here to cancel its Hot Deals packages to Shanghai and Beijing after August.

However, said Evan Chan, director of the firm's China division, new programs will be created for fall and winter.

The Hot Deals plan, a six-night package priced from $888 to $1,059 per person, double, including air, was set up in May with departures scheduled through March 2003.

A rush to see the Yangtze River (see story, Page 55) was part of what forced the company to cancel the packages, Chan said, adding that many carriers have cut back availability.

The price for the remaining departures, which operate through Aug. 24, is $999. The Aug. 31 departure is priced at $1,059.

The Beijing package includes a full-day excursion to the Great Wall and the Ming Tomb Museum, a full-day city tour of Beijing, along with three days of free time. The Shanghai program includes a full-day excursion to Suzhou and a half-day tour of Shanghai.

Both packages include roundtrip air fare, six nights' hotel accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, daily breakfast and two lunches.

For more information or reservations, call Ritz tours at (800) 900-CHINA (2446) or visit www.ritztours.com.

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