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March 14, 2012

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Around the world in 80 days like a millionaire!

EVER fancied going around the world in 80 days like Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's famous novel? Well, now you can do it in style - but only if you have a million yuan!

The 1.01 million yuan (US$159,640) travel package being promoted by travel agency for next year has caught the imagination of would-be tourists online, sparking wide discussion over its merits, or otherwise.

Registration for the trip will open on March 26 in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, with just 15 places available.

The journey will cover 20 countries and regions, with the group staying in the most luxurious hotels and cruise ships, and dining in the fanciest restaurants, the company said.

World-renowned scenic areas and activities, such as the carnival in Brazil, India's Taj Mahal in India, the Amazonian rain forest and the Nazka Lines in South America, will all be included in the package. Tourists will also visit the South Pole on a cruise ship.

This will be the third "luxurious tour around the world" organized by

In the past two years, the company has promoted packages costing 500,000 yuan and 660,000 yuan. Officials said most of those on the trips were businessmen from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. The 660,000 yuan tour sold out in just 30 seconds last year.

Online, there were feelings of envy for people who could afford such a trip, while others said they wondered how such a trip could be so expensive.

"I don't think it needs a million yuan," said keen traveler Jess Huang. "I think the company just wants to show off."

A travel company general manager, who said he preferred to remain anonymous, agreed. He said people who really want to enjoy traveling should choose less shallow packages, rather than a trip where they will skip over scenic areas in a hurry. The company should be focusing on developing high-end packages which truly meet the needs of people who enjoy traveling rather than showing off with such expensive trips. said that, apart from luxury accommodation and first-class dining, top quality service will also be a major expense, thus the price is "reasonable."

Company director Fan Min said: "The number of billionaires in China is booming every year, and there is a great potential market."


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