Category Archives: Asia

2 for 1 Special Tour, Grand Canal & Temples of China.

From Only CA$3,199* for 2 persons from Vancouver, March 8 – 18 2010

 Beijing TourMarch2010

 Tour Highlights:

  • Tour East offices in Beijing and Shanghai provide 24 hour support
  • Private Hutong tour in Beijing by pedicab
  • Visit Nanjing, the ancient capital of China, Scenic journeys from Nanjing to Wuxi, Suzhou and Shanghai.

Package includes:

Return economy class airfare, Internal flight and Train tickets, Return airport transfers by air-conditioned coach, Hotel accommodations as mentioned above (double occupancy), Meals as specified, Sightseeing with admissions as specified, Air-conditioned vehicle with guide as specified.  and Gratuities to drivers, guides and tour director.

·                     Package does not include*

·                     Meals and services not specified

·                     Excess baggage fees levied by airlines & taxes

·                     Tips and Gratuities to drivers, guides and tour director

 

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New trend for hotels?

Came across a couple of  articles in a travel journal recently about a “pay what you want”  experiments. 

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort and Spa is offering a promotion called the “Survivior Package“.  Basically, you decide your price by deciding what amenities you can do without.  For $219  per night you get deluxe accommodations plus breakfast for two.  However, if you can do without breakfast, it’s $199; without honor bar, it’s $179; without heat or air condition, it’s $159; etc. It’s a great way to attract budget conscious travellers.  Contact them for more details. 

A village in Austria’s Alps, Langenfeld, is offering tourists to test their hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities in return for completing a survey paying what they think their stay was worth.  They are accepting up to 200 people to participate in this event.  The local tourism organization is looking to find out their strengths and weaknesses so they can improve for the future.

This actually reminds of me of another hotel that also offered a “Pay What You Want” promotion. In March 2009, the Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen Hotel allowed guests to choose the rate they wanted to pay. For a designated number of hours each day during the promotion, potential guests could bid on a price they would like to pay.  If they were one of the first to bid, they could win a night at the hotel for the price they bid.

Not sure if this could be a new trend but it definitely provides insightful information for the companies involved on the quality of their services and their current pricing strategy during these challenging economic times.

Rainbow Travel Tips & Tidbits – 19 September 2008

Travel Tidbits from Rainbow Travel Inc:

WestJet Eliminates Fuel Surcharges

WestJet has just announced that they are eliminating fuel surcharges effective immediately.  Travelers will save $20 to $45 each way! Fuel surcharges have just been dropped on all routes including these two great fares we came across:

– Calgary -> Las Vegas …. $99

– Toronto -> Las Vegas …. $149

You must book by September 22 2008. This offer is valid for Travel on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flights through December 17 2008.

Also, WestJet has introduced a new destination from Vancouver to La Ceiba in Honduras.  This begins December 12 2008 using their Boeing 737 800 series planes.  Watch this space for more updates on WestJet.

Air Canada Eliminates Second Bag Fee

In response to decreasing fuel prices, Air Canada is eliminating all second checked-bag charges implemented this spring on North American Tango and Tango Plus fares and they are incorporating fuel surcharges for flights within North America. These initiatives were made possible by the recent relief from all-time high oil prices. Here are the details:

– Effective September 23 2008, the elimination of the $25 fee for second checked bags that was introduced May 15 for Tango and Tango Plus fares within North America.

– Starting September 18 2008, Air Canada is incorporating into its advertised prices the one-way, add-on fuel surcharge that currently ranges between $20 and $60 on domestic and U.S. transborder flights. The company will adjust its published fares to include the total cost of fuel in its advertised base fares. This will provide customers simple, transparent and low fares.

– Starting October 14 2008, Air Canada is simplifying its excess baggage fees by introducing a single $75 fee for travel within North America ($100 international) for overweight and/or oversize pieces. This new policy replaces the standard industry practice of imposing individual fees for each situation. For bags exceeding the free allowance, the excess piece fee will now include any applicable overweight or oversize fees. A 10 per cent discount on excess piece fees is offered when fees are paid while checking-in online or at an airport self service kiosk.

Idol Comes To Disney

An “American Idol” attraction will bring the TV series to life at Walt Disney World in Florida. Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will be able to experience auditioning, performing, and getting judged on stage. Guests register in advance to audition in front of a producer.  After backstage preparation work including time with a vocal coach and hair/make-up, registered guests will perform live in front of an audience to get scored.

Free Entrance to Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Disney announced its marketing theme for 2009 will be “What Will You Celebrate?”.  Disney is encouraging guests to visit the parks for birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, honeymoons, weddings and other celebratory gatherings. As part of that campaign, Jay Rasulo, chairman of Disney Parks & Resorts, announced that everyone who visits a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park on their birthday in 2009 can get in free, as Disney Parks embrace the new trend in family travel called Celebration Vacations. The free birthday admission requires a valid ID including proof of birth date.

Three Special Offers From Norwegian Coastal Voyages

CRUISE ONLY DISCOUNT ON CABINS, INCLUDING SUITES:  When you book selected 12, 7 and 6-day Norwegian Coastal Voyages departing in October, November and December, 2008, you will receive a 20% discount on best available cabins at the time of booking, including suites.  This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. It is valid on the QJ suite rate with best available cabin category up to category MG on MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol, M cabin on MS Finnmarken, and Q cabin on MS Polarlys, MS Nordkapp, MS Kong Harald, MS Richard With and MS Nordlys. Offer is valid for bookings made by September 30 2008. Offer is valid for new bookings only. Restrictions apply. Contact us for details.

2 FOR 1 CRUISE ONLY BARGAIN PROMOTION: Book selected 12, 7 and 6-day Norwegian Coastal Voyages departing in October, November and December 2008 and your companion travels FREE. Offer is not valid on suites and cannot be combined with any other discounts. Offer is valid for bookings made by September 30 2008. Offer is valid for new bookings only. Restrictions apply. Contact us for details.

FREE AIR SPECIAL OFFER: Book a selected 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage and receive FREE air from New York (JFK) airport or Newark, NJ (EWR) airport or book selected 7 or 6-day Norwegian Coastal Voyages and receive 2 for 1 airfare from New York (JFK) airport or Newark, NJ (EWR) airport. Both offers are good for voyages departing in October, November and December 2008. Offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion, is valid for selected departures and restrictions apply. Offer is valid for bookings made by September 30 2008. Contact us for details for select sailing dates and details.

Special Singapore Stopovers From Only $42 CAD

Singapore Airlines is offering stopover holiday packages that include the following:

– 1 night hotel, airport transfers, unlimited rides on the SIA Hop-On bus, free entry to the Singapore Zoo, Sentosa Island, National Orchid Garden, Jurong BirdPark and a River Boat Cruise

Discounts available on food, beverages and more.  What a bargain! So take this opportunity to contact us for details.

Rainbow Travel Tips & Tidbits 25 August 2008

The World’s Eyes on China

The world’s eyes were focused on China with the Olympic Games and for at least the near future as well.

One of my clients recently returned from an exciting trip which we helped organize.  Travelers are just beginning to realize that they can explore China on their own rather than following the traditional guided tour.  They have the freedom to do their own thing at their own pace while enjoying a significant cost savings.  With independent travel, we do recommend that travelers have handy the contact numbers for the various services on the detailed service vouchers; these are very useful in the event things do not go as planned.

A good travel agent with their network of contacts can arrange hotel accommodations, sightseeing, and airport transfers based on a client’s budget and desired destinations…not just for the dominant tourist cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian but to other major cities across this large country.

Hotel options in China range from 2 to 5 stars with nightly prices going anywhere from just over $30 per night to $500 per night (USD).  In addition to hotels, we can offer over 1600 services for independent travelers to China including 145 sightseeing tours plus guide services, transfers, shows, and other options through our supplier.  These options include half and full day private/group tours to places such as the Great Wall, Chuan Di Xia Village, cooking classes, a foot massage, a traditional meal such as Peking Duck, and cultural shows such as acrobatics and kung fu.

Rainbow Travel Blog - Chuan Di Xia Village

Rainbow Travel Blog - Chuan Di Xia Village

I am pleased to be able to share with you one such itinerary lasting 7 days to Shanghai and Beijing for one of our clients.  On arrival in Shanghai, our clients were met and transferred to the JC Mandarin Hotel.  While the grandiose marble lobby and modern business style rooms were impressive, the best attribute was the hotel’s central location.  Our clients had booked a half day chinese cooking lesson on their first morning.  Promptly at 9am, the chef instructor was waiting in the lobby to whisk our clients off in a cab (at the chef’s expense) to his kitchen classroom.  Together they made oyster mushrooms with baby bok choy, sweet and sour pork with pineapple, and sichuan style chicken with spicy chilies and peanuts.  At the end, our clients were put in a cab to return to their hotel.  For the remaining 2 days in Shanghai, they explored the city on their own with a city map translated in both english and chinese, and a handy business card from the hotel which had their name and directions written on it.

Rainbow Travel Blog - Beijing National Stadium (aka The Bird Nest)

Rainbow Travel Blog - Beijing National Stadium (aka The Bird Nest)

On the third night, our clients flew from Shanghai to Beijing  and were met by private transfer from the airport to the Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven, a very nice 4 star hotel.  They found the only drawback was its location which required taking taxis everywhere.  However for the first 2 of their 4 days in Beijing, they didn’t have to worry about taxis as they had a full day Great Wall and Ming Tombs private tour and a half day Summer Palace private tour scheduled.  Once again their tour guides were promptly downstairs in the lobby at the designated meeting time.  The full day tour was with a young chinese gentleman whose english was adequate and was happy to make any additional stops to places like the Olympic Stadium site.  With a driver, our clients were taken to the Ming Dynasty Tombs and then the Great Wall at Badaling where our clients were allowed to climb on their own for as long as they desired.  They were then driven back to the hotel.  The following morning, another tour guide, a young chinese woman, and her driver took our clients to the Summer Palace.  Both guides were excellent.  As an added surprise, the tour also included a silk factory visit where the actual silkworms process was shown, as well as, the “magic” silk blanket which is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  The rest of the time in Beijing was spent on their own to do whatever they wanted.

Rainbow Travel Blog - Shanghai at Night

Rainbow Travel Blog - Shanghai at Night

This is just a sample of the many options available for independent travelers to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, at their own pace with as much free time as they want without the crowds.  So why not put together your own China Adventure, with our help you can do it.