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January 7, 2010

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Spring Fest travel market warming up

THE Spring Festival travel market is bouncing back - and also getting more expensive - as economic conditions improve, with warm-weather Southeastern Asia countries still among the most popular destinations.

Almost all Southeastern Asia-bound tour packages will cost 40 to 50 percent more than usual, local travel service companies said yesterday.

Some packages that depart on February 13, the Chinese New Year's Eve, will be twice as expensive, officials said., China's major online travel service company, said a five-day trip to Phuket Island, departing on February 13, will be around 7,220 (US$1,057), about twice as much as a departure on January 24.

Zhao Jinhui, an official with Shanghai CYTS Tour Service Co Ltd, said the whole economic environment is warming up, making the tourism market hotter.

Tourists' tastes were also causing prices to rise.

"Most people who are willing to go abroad for traveling are young white collar workers," Zhao said. "They pursue high-quality traveling, thus the packages for the holiday are most upmarket, thus of course the price will be higher than common packages."

Companies said some destinations that weren't so popular before, such as Cambodia, India and Nepal, are expected to receive many tour groups during the festival.


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