Roundup of Asian travel news

Taj opens in Sydney, while China is the focus for the Mandarin Oriental and Starwood. Etihad and Qatar Airways open up new routes in the region, while MAS and Tiger have giveaways.TAJ HOTELS RESORTS & PALACES LAUNCHES BLUE IN SYDNEY

The Indian Hotels Company Limited, which owns and operates Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, has opened its latest acquisition BLUE, located on The Finger Wharf at Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Bay. Located close to the CBD, shopping districts, and the Sydney Opera House, the hotel contains 100 rooms, along with restaurants, fitness facilities, spa services and a full-service business centre. It represents Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces’ first foray into the Australian market.

STARWOOD TO MANAGE THE SHERATON ZHONGSHAN HOTEL

Starwood Hotels and Zhongshan Garden Hotel Company Limited have formed an agreement whereby Starwood will manage the Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel in Zhongshan City in China’s Guangdong province. The newly constructed 350 room hotel is due to open in January 2009, and is located 33 miles south of Guangzhou, some 75 minutes by ferry from Hong Kong and within a two-hour’s drive from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau. The Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel will offer food and beverage outlets, a health club and spa and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, within easy reach of the CBD, government offices, and a shopping precinct.

CARLSON HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC TO MANAGE RADISSON RESORT & SPA ALIBAUG

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Radisson Hotels together with M/. Sahil Spa & Resorts, will develop a new hotel in the Indian location of Alibaug, Maharashtra - the Radisson Resort & Spa Alibaug. The hotel, positioned on 22 acres of land along the banks of Veshvi Lake at Gondhalpada, 1.5 kilometres from Alibaug, will be managed by Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific, part of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, parent company for Radisson Hotels & Resorts. The hotel is slated to be opened by the end of this year, and will house 150 guest rooms, suites, villas and Ayurvedic pavilions.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL TO MANAGE NEW LUXURY RESORT AND SPA ON CHINA’S HAINAN

Mandarin Oriental will manage a resort being developed on the Chinese island of Hainan. The 292 room resort, five minutes drive from Sanya City and 20 kilometres from the city’s international airport, is expected to open for business in the second half of this year. The Mandarin Oriental, Sanya will offer banquet and conference facilities with a 480 square metre grand ballroom that can contain up to 300 people, as well as five conference rooms.

TIGER AIRWAYS OFFERS 20,000 SEATS BELOW S$15 TO ALL DESTINATIONS IN FEBRUARY SALES

Singapore-based low-cost airline Tiger Airways is offering 20,000 seats for less than S$15 (US$9) one way (excluding taxes) across its network for travel this month. This includes the Vietnamese destinations of Da Nang and Hanoi, the Thai destinations of Phuket, Krabi and Bangkok, and the Indonesian destination of Padang.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES TO OFFER FIVE MLN SEATS AT TRAVEL FAIR

Malaysia Airlines is offering five million seats for travel packages between March 1st and June 30th. The offer will be available for online booking during the 10-day travel fair from Feb 17th to 26th. This year’s packages would also be offered to customers in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. www.malaysiaairlines.com/

ETIHAD AIRWAYS TO ADD DESTINATIONS IN PAKISTAN, THE PHILIPPINES

Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways will launch four new services to Pakistan and the Philippines. From February the 13th, the United Arab Emirates airline will add the Pakistani destinations of Islamabad and Peshawar and the Philippine destination of Manila. Lahore will be added on February the 20th. www.etihadairways.com

QATAR AIRWAYS TO LAUNCH FLIGHTS TO INDIA’S NAGPURA

Qatar Airways will fly to the Indian destination of Nagpur this summer. The carrier will offer non-stop scheduled services from its Doha hub to the central Indian city. The airline plans to start daily Doha-Hong Kong services on March the 26th. Also from this date Qatar Airways will boost frequencies to Bangkok, from 11 flights a week to twice per day, and Osaka, up from four flights a week to five.

DRAGONAIR TO LAUNCH DIRECT HONG KONG-SHENYANG SERVICE

Dragonair will commence direct flights from Hong Kong to north China’s Shenyang on March the 30th. The three times per week service will be run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Hong Kong-based carrier will operate the service via Dalian.

AUSTRALIA’S OZJET NAMES PERTH AS ITS THIRD DESTINATION

Australian business-class airline OzJet has named Perth as its third destination in addition to Sydney and Melbourne. Flights are set to commence in mid-March, with one-way fares between Perth and Melbourne starting at A$499 (US$368).
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