BEIJING – China plans to build at least 45 new airports in the next five years to serve booming travel, the top industry regulator said Thursday.
The plans call for spending 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to expand air travel, said Li Jiaxiang, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Some 130 of China’s 175 existing airports lost money last year but Beijing will support them to boost local economic growth, Li said at a news conference.
He said incomes in farming areas have risen when airports open nearby, allowing their fruit and vegetables to be flown to more prosperous major cities.
China’s fast-growing air travel market is expected to pass North America as the world’s biggest in coming decades.
Li said the plans call for increasing the number of airports to at least 220 in the next five years.
He gave no indication where they would be, but Beijing is spending heavily to develop poorer areas and China’s west and link them to booming eastern cities.
Civil Aviation Administration of China (in Chinese): http://www.caac.gov.cn
DALLAS – Airfares are rising again, and travelers should brace for more price increases.
United and Continental started the latest price hike Wednesday by adding $20 per round trip to most domestic flights. American quickly matched the move, and other airlines were it on Thursday.
Airlines are trying to pass along their cost for jet fuel, which is rising with the surge in oil prices and raising new questions about whether airlines will make or lose money this year.
SEATTLE — It’s not too late to snag a bargain for your spring getaway if you know where to look.
Sue Perry, Deputy Editor at Shop Smart Magazine says you can find some great last-minute travel deals on vacation condos and home rentals at a site called PackLate.com.
“And the closer you are to your check-in date, the better the deal you’re going to get,” she said.
Shop Smart found a 5-bedroom home with a pool, five minutes from Disney World for just $77 a night.
FareCompare.com has a new tool on its site called “Where-to-Go Getaway Map” that helps you find bargain fares worldwide.
Another way to use the net to save money is to sign up for travel bargain alerts. You probably already get them from your favorite airlines and hotels. Perry says there are lots of other sites that can help.
“Like TravelZoo, CheapOair, BudgetTravel and BookIt. They’ll send you weekly lists of package deals,” Perry said.
And don’t forget social networks. Hotels and airlines put deals on the Facebook pages and many travel companies now tweet special offers. On @JetBlueCheeps, Shop Smart found a one-way fare from San Francisco to Long Beach California for just $10!
Perry says if you find a sweet Tweet deal, you’ve got to pounce on it.
“On these things you really have to act fast because rooms and seats are really limited,” Perry said.
Article source: http://www.kcby.com/news/consumertips/116673109.html
For the AJC
With epic snow conditions in Colorado and California, now is the time to book your spring ski vacation. January snowfall in Colorado proved to be one for the record books. Snowfall totals for Vail and Breckenridge Resorts were 60 percent and 50 percent above 10-year averages, respectively and Keystone also has the highest snowfall to-date in the past 10 years. Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe are also getting pounded with snow and over the past week snow totals were in excess of 100 inches at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
Keystone Winter Culinary Festival, March 4-6: In support of Keystone and Vail Resorts’ Appetite for Life Program, chefs will be serving sustainable and organic ingredients all weekend. For a detailed schedule, visit www.keystoneculinary.com.
Breckenridge Mardi Gras Meets the Mountains, March 5-8: Celebrate carnival season with a twist of skiing, sunshine and Fat Tuesday revelry when Mardi Gras meets the mountains in Breckenridge with a masquerade ball, live music and Main Street parade. Mix it up this carnival season with outstanding ski conditions and a weekend-long mountain town celebration. For more information visit www.breckenridge.com.
Northstar-at-Tahoe Mardi Gras Celebration, March 5-8: Celebrate Mardi Gras in the Village at Northstar and on the mountain with food and drink specials, live music and more. Fat Tuesday, March 8 will feature live music on the Village stage from 3-6 p.m. For more information visit www.northstarattahoe.com.
CarniVail, March 6-11: Chow down on crawfish at the World’s Highest Low Country Crawfish Boil at Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain, collect bundles of beads at the Fat Tuesday parade through Vail Village and sway to the sounds of the World Famous Buckwheat Zydeco and Frogs Gone Fishin’ at free live concerts in Vail Village. Visit www.vail.com for more information.
Heavenly Mountain Resort Tahoe Winter Snow Blast Concert Series, March 18: A winter concert series with world-class, nighttime entertainment in a package that only Lake Tahoe South Shore can provide. For more information visit www.ltsnowblasts.com.
Spring Lodging Deals:
RockResorts and Vail Resorts are offering the “Spring Break on Us” package. Book now and enjoy one free night of lodging on stays through April 30. Rates start from $75 per night in Keystone and Breckenridge. Minimum stays and blackouts may apply. Visit www.springbreakonus.com or call 1-866-513-7625.
RockResorts is offering the “1-2-3 Spa” package which includes one spa welcome amenity, two spa treatments and three nights of lodging. Package is valid on stays through December at all Rock Resorts — including The Arrabelle at Vail Square and The Lodge at Vail (rates from $272 per night, double). Visit www.rockresorts.com/123spa or call 1-866-513-7625.
On-site lodging at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort on the “Stay Ski Free” package begins at $115 per person, per night in a studio condominium (other unit types available) and includes two lift tickets per room, per night (two night minimum required). For more information, visit www.northstarattahoe.com or call 1-800-466-6784.
Soak up sun this spring at Beaver Creek with up to 30 percent off of lodging on stays between March 19 and April 17. Rates start at just $62 per person, per night, quad occupancy, in a two-bedroom Creekside Condominium at Beaver Creek Resort. A minimum three night stay required. Book online at www.beavercreek.com or by calling 1-800-404-3535.
This April catch Spring Fever along with Breckenridge Ski Resort when the town welcomes visitors to one of the best times of the year for skiing. Stay at the Great Divide Lodge from $99 per night. Catch live music every weekend, restaurant discounts, extended hours in the terrain park and more on March 27-April 24 stays. For more, visit www.breckenridge.com.
Getting to the Slopes:
One-way rates to Denver start at $109 when tickets are purchased through midnight, tonight (2/24) on AirTran, Delta, Frontier or United — all with nonstop service from Atlanta. Additionally, Frontier Airlines offers one-way rates of $119 to Colorado Springs and $124 to Aspen on the same sale.
Sale rates are valid on travel started on or after March 4 and completed by May 25. Prices are based on Tuesday or Wednesday travel with other days priced $20 higher (Sunday travel is at regular rates).
Sale airfares are always subject to change. Every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase. I recommend starting the search for available seats at Kayak.com vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel Web sites such as Expedia or Travelocity, etc. Airlines can discontinue or pull a sale price without notice when the offer is deemed “sold out,” or when that rate does not have a “ticket-by” date.
Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.
With Easter approaching, anyone looking for something a little different this year can experience an adventure holiday with Tucan Travel, almost anywhere in the world. By taking just a few extra days off over the Easter holiday, the adventure of a lifetime awaits.
Tucan Travel offers adventure holidays as short as three days for those looking for an independent adventure. But as an adventure is best shared, Tucan Travel specializes in escorted group tours and has many adventures for anywhere between one and two weeks. Your adventure this Easter could be anywhere from the wilds of Costa Rica to the majesty of Vic Falls in Zambia. Two weeks, and you could witness the mountain gorillas in Rwanda or marvel at the isolated grandeur of Patagonia.
One person never to turn down the opportunity for an adventure holiday is Tucan Travel General Manager Bec Whiffin. This Easter Whiffin is making the most of the usual holiday as well as the unique opportunity for time off thanks to the royal wedding, which gives UK citizens the chance of a 10-day holiday by taking just three days of work. This year Whiffin is venturing to the Far East, responding to the allure of Japan and the start of the cherry blossom festival.
“Along with everything else there is to see and do in this country, being there when the cherry blossoms bloom gives a great adventure holiday something extra special,” said Whiffin.
More and more people want to leave behind the all-inclusive resort for their vacations and see what so many tourists don’t by really getting a feel for the mood and culture of a country. And no matter where in the world you want to visit, be it a tour through Asia or just a Peru tour, an adventure holiday with Tucan Travel will always take you to into the thick of it.
Tucan Travel is a specialist adventure tour operator with hundreds of high-quality, affordable and exciting adventures to worldwide destinations. Choose from over 470 group tours, Independent Travel packages and Expedition Cruises to Europe, the Middle East North Africa, Asia Russia, East Southern Africa, Latin America and Antarctica.
Ben McIntosh, communications coordinator,
Direct Line: +44 (0208) 896 6711, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.tucantravel.com
The Pines Resort on Bass Lake, which is a 15-minute drive from the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park, is offering a winter deal on chalets and suites.
The deal: The Winter Special rates are $99 per night for selected chalets, including a $20 meal voucher, and $149 per night for a suite, with a $30 meal voucher; prices don’t include tax. The sale rate is based on double occupancy; each additional person costs $20 more. Vouchers can be used for meals but not beverages at the resort’s restaurants.
When: The offer is good for reservations through March 31, excluding holidays.
Tested: I went to the Pines Resort website’s reservation page and chose “Winter Package” from the drop-down menu. I found a chalet with a king or two queen beds for $99 per night plus tax from March 25 to 27. The best available rate on the same nights for the same dates was $109 per night — a rate that went as high as $169 a night just a week later in April. So you save by going off-season and using the deal.
Contact: The Pines Resort, (559) 642-3121
Travelers can take advantage of new money-saving offers, including
reduced hotel rates, resort credits, and more on Mexico vacations
EDINA, Minn.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Travelers looking for spring travel deals on Mexico vacations will find
that now is the time to book their trip to get great last minute travel
deals. Delta Vacations has just announced new deals for spring getaways
to Mexico, including vacations for over the Easter travel period. The Mexico
vacation deals span across more than 40 Mexico resorts and include
reduced rates with special hotel offers such as free nights, free meals,
and more at all inclusive Mexico resorts.
Travelers will receive reduced airfares from select cities such as
Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, and now,
even lower airfares from Los Angeles, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, and
Only through Delta Vacations—the vacation brand of Delta Air Lines®—do
travelers get some amazing perks, including: lowest available airfares
to Mexico on Delta Air Lines, earn up to 2,000 bonus miles in addition
to credited flight miles through the SkyMiles® program,
one-stop-shopping, easy ways to plan and pay, and specialty vacations
such as groups, destination weddings or honeymoons, and luxury vacations.
For more information on Mexico vacations, visit the Delta Vacations blog
and for Delta Vacations deals or to book a vacation, contact a travel
agent, visit www.deltavacations.com,
or call 1-800-800-1504.
About Delta Vacations
Delta Vacations is the official vacation brand of Delta Air Lines and
offers customizable vacations via Delta Air Lines and its worldwide
partners. Delta Vacations provides the convenience of booking flight and
hotel together with the lowest available airfares on Delta and its
partner airlines, offering discounted hotel rates, bonus miles for
travelers through the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program and special
offers to over 250 of the world’s most appealing leisure destinations,
with a best price guarantee. They also have specialty vacations such as
luxury vacations, destination weddings and honeymoons, escorted tours
and river cruises, ski vacations, and group travel, plus add-ons such as
car rentals, sightseeing excursions and other activities. Delta
Vacations is managed, operated and marketed by MLT Vacations, one of the
largest providers of vacations in the United States. Travelers will find
more information by consulting a travel agent or visiting www.deltavacations.com.
HEALDSBURG, Calif. – The chic wine country town of Healdsburg has a little secret. Fine wine is just the beginning of the attractions on tap here.
Poke around antique shops, eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant, float down a lazy river — those are just some of your options.
Not that long ago, Healdsburg was a sleepy spot known as “the buckle on the prune belt.”
The prunes are long gone, replaced by vineyards. And these days, if you’re doing any sleeping here it may very well be on the Coyuchi organic sheets of the h2hotel, one of several new or newly refurbished boutique hotels that have sprung up in recent years.
“It’s really come a long way,” says iconic rock artist Stanley Mouse, whose work is featured in the Rockin Roses gallery just off the tree-lined plaza that is the heart of Healdsburg. “It used to be a really quiet town. Now it’s the place to go.”
About 70 miles north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is conveniently located just off U.S. Highway 101. The Central Healdsburg exit will take you to Healdsburg Avenue, which runs along the plaza.
Where to start your day? Breakfast options include the Downtown Bakery Creamery, where sticky buns are a specialty and a cafe menu is served on weekends.
Spend the morning shopping the boutiques and antique stores that line the plaza or browse the thousands of titles at Copperfield’s Books on the south side of the plaza.
Looking to explore the art of rock ‘n’ roll? The Rockin Roses gallery just around the corner from Copperfield’s is stocked with works by Mouse, including paintings that became classic Grateful Dead covers, as well as art by some of his friends, like painted drum heads by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and some vivid “Alice In Wonderland”-themed paintings by Grace Slick.
Mouse sometimes paints in the gallery in the afternoons, so you may bump into the unassuming artist himself.
A few doors down on Healdsburg Avenue is the tiny but striking Hand Fan Museum, the first in the United States dedicated to this useful cooling and communication tool, with a vibrant collection that includes some gorgeously ornate specimens.
Lunch is what you make of it; nearby restaurants range from fancy to family friendly. Or, you could opt for a simple sandwich eaten on one of the plaza benches.
Maybe you want to put a little polish on your own spatula? Relish Culinary Adventures offers cooking classes that range from bread-baking sessions to visiting a farmer’s market with a chef and returning to the up-to-date kitchen to cook up the meal. The ingredients and the talent are local to give visitors a sense of Sonoma County. Prices range from $39 for summer lunch classes to $125 for offsite classes at local farms and wineries.
If traveling on two wheels is your idea of freewheeling fun, check out Wine Country Bikes or Spoke Folk Cyclery. Or, if you’re staying at the h2hotel, hop on one of the bikes available for guests.
If you’re feeling more nautically inclined, take a kayak out on the Russian River; inflatables are available that are stable enough to take a dog along. For a different take on relaxation, try a spa treatment; a number of places are nearby and The Spa at the Healdsburg Hotel offers day packages for non-guests that include use of the Jacuzzi and pool.
As cocktail hour rolls around, drop into Spoonbar, where mixologist Scott Beattie incorporates seasonal flowers and produce into classic and original drinks.
In the summer, ease into the evening with free music on Tuesdays as artists play in the plaza’s bandstand from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For dinner, you can try casual fare — the Bear Republic Brewing Co. offers a fun atmosphere and locally produced beers — or go upscale at Cyrus, a two-star Michelin restaurant, or Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen.
Palmer puts on a Pigs Pinot event each spring that includes butchery and charcuterie classes, cook-offs, private tastings and dinners. Sold out this year, related specials at h2hotel and Healdsburg Hotel are being offered from February through the end of April and proceeds benefit local education as well as Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working for better child nutrition.
As night falls, rest your head at one of Healdsburg’s boutique hotels or try a BB like Camellia Inn. Relax, recharge. Maybe tomorrow you’ll get around to checking out some of those wineries.
If You Go…
ROCKIN ROSES: 243B Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, http://www.rockinrosesart.com or 707-433-6400. Open Thursday-Sunday, 12:30 p.m.- 7 p.m.
RIVER’S EDGE KAYAK CANOE TRIPS: 13840 Healdsburg Ave., http://www.riversedgekayakandcanoe.com or 707-433-7247.
SOAR INFLATABLES: 20 Healdsburg Ave., http://www.soar1.com/rradventures/welcome.htm or 707-433-5599. Rates start at $40 for a half-day kayak rental.
RELISH CULINARY ADVENTURES: 14 Matheson St., http://www.relishculinary.com or 877-759-1004.
HAND FAN MUSEUM: 219 Healdsburg Ave., http://www.handfanmuseum.org or 707-431-2500. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
H2HOTEL: 219 Healdsburg Ave., http://www.h2hotel.com or 877-424-0422. Weeknight rates start at around $195.
HOTEL HEALDSBURG: 25 Matheson St., http://www.hotelhealdsburg.com or 800-889-7188. Weeknight rates start around $275.
CAMELLIA INN: 211 North St., http://www.camelliainn.com or 800-727-8182. Budget rooms start at $139.
LAS VEGAS – The cable network known for its strong teen following is taking the college tradition of spring break and making it an adults-only affair in Sin City.
MTV is bringing its raucous annual special Spring Break to Las Vegas, with five days of parties and concerts featuring up-and-coming music acts and personalities from the network’s reality shows. It’s the first time the network has filmed the special in Las Vegas, changing the dynamic from the usual beaches of Florida or Mexico to the pool of the Palms Casino Resort near the Las Vegas Strip.
For the network, the move changes up the vibe of a yearly celebration that started in 1986. For the Palms, the show brings midweek customers during a time that Las Vegas is welcoming any visitors willing to spend money partying and gambling.
But given gambling and tight state regulations, college students can expect their underage friends to have a tough time getting into the party — should they choose to try.
“Everyone’s going to be 21 that will be at the pool,” said George Maloof, owner of the Palms. “We’ll make sure of that, have plenty of security.”
“It’ll be just like what we’ve always done, which is having respect for obviously our license,” he said.
College kids have long sought destinations with relaxed laws for spring break because they often don’t turn 21 until their junior or senior year in school. Mexico, for example, has a drinking age of 18, making places like Cancun and Rosarito Beach popular when schools take their mid-term breaks.
Even though casinos market only to those 21 and older, MTV’s Spring Break still fits with the Palms, Maloof said.
“With our brand, it’s a natural fit. We’ve always attracted the younger crowd and we’ve always been on the cutting edge of culture,” he said.
Maloof and the Palms played host to MTV’s “The Real World” in 2002, putting up seven residents — all over 21 — in a suite at the resort that’s still rentable today.
Eric Conte, senior vice president of programming at MTV, said he doesn’t think that restricting the festivities to only drinking-age adults will hurt the party or make students not want to come.
“We’re also doing parties around some of our biggest franchises on MTV at some of the suites there at the Palms,” he said. “We think just the overall excitement in the town is really beneficial and is helping us out so far.”
MGM Resorts International, the casino operator that runs 10 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, is expecting as much as a 20 percent increase in spring break travelers, including college students and families with children taking a break from school, Chief Marketing Officer Bill Hornbuckle said.
“It fills, particularly midweek, some pretty good voids that might not otherwise be filled for us, and they’ll have a great time,” he said.
Hornbuckle said MGM Resorts is planning to cross-promote six properties on the Strip during spring break, letting guests staying at any of the properties access amenities and events at all of them. The party includes a March 12 concert with Cee Lo Green and The Ting Tings, on MGM Resorts land on the Strip across from the Luxor.
Hornbuckle said Las Vegas has become famous in the last decade for its pool party and nightclub scene, but also famous for its strict no-minors policy.
“Where they’ve tried to get into nightclubs historically, gamble at tables, we take that extremely seriously and that extends itself into spring break,” Hornbuckle said. “As things are happening all over the world … Las Vegas has become more and more attractive, particularly to this crowd. And so we’ve seen a benefit to that and I think this year will be, hopefully, an all-time high.”
Maloof said the MTV event will bring a double-dip of benefits to the Palms, attracting students for the trip itself and giving the Palms airtime after the taping when the show airs later in March.
“I don’t think we’ll have an issue with selling out,” he said.
Conte said musical acts scheduled to appear include Pitbull, Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa and Jason Derulo.
Group-buying site LivingSocial has kicked off a luxurious offer today, and while it is half off the retail price, it’s still not cheap.
For the bargain-basement price of $10,000, you will receive a one-night stay for four in the Penthouse at the Fairmont in San Francisco, a four-course dinner, a commemorative Tiffany china set for four, monogrammed robes, Bulgari amenities–and not just any rental car, but a Maserati Quattroporte for the day.
The package normally costs $20,000, but for the next six days on LivingSocial’s travel site, it will be sold for 50 percent off. Still a little out of your price range? Well, if you can scratch together $2,000, you can enjoy a one-night stay for two in the Presidential Suite (without the china set and other extras), another half-off deal.
Hardly the usual dinner out or day-spa offer, but seven packages (mix unknown) have already been purchased!
The penthouse deal may be one of the most expensive yet to pop up as the race heats up between the various players competing for a foothold in the relatively young space of offering heavily discounted items in return for selling high volumes.
Another big-ticket item that sold recently was on the flash-sales site Gilt Groupe, which was offering 2011 Volkswagen Jettas for $5,995 (or 63 percent off the regular price of $15,995). Quantities were limited to three.
Gilt Groupe also has its daily deals business, called Gilt City, which offers premium and often luxurious deals in several U.S. cities. It also has a companion travel site, called Jetsetter, that offers exotic trips around the world or even closer to home. A current offer on the site is for ritzy digs at a New York City hotel for $205 a night (including a shower with a view).
In an interview with Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial.com, late last year, he said that the company is increasingly putting the focus on hand-crafted curated packages, which will help them differentiate from market-leading Groupon or the dozens of other clones hitting the market.
If you ask us, a $10,000 one-night stay in a San Francisco hotel would count as an eye-catcher.
It’s hard to know if this package is truly a bargain, since prices on hotel rooms can vary so drastically, and this deal isn’t really found anywhere else.
But if you take their word for it, the one-night stay for four in the penthouse normally fetches $10,000 a night. The exclusive china set costs $1,600. The monogrammed robes, Bulgari amenities and rental Maserati…well, we don’t know.
Here’s a description of the penthouse from the listing: “Your decadent digs in the recently renovated eighth-floor Penthouse feature three bedrooms, a formal dining room that seats 60, a two-story circular library with gold-leaf rotunda, a Persian-tiled billiard room, and an expansive terrace where Sean Connery famously received a haircut in ‘The Rock.’”
Is there a pull-out couch? Heck, I’m sure someone would be willing to sleep on the floor.
Just in case you are wondering, the fine print is tolerable.
The deal expires at the end of the year, the driver must have insurance, be at least 25 and have a valid driver’s license, and reservations are required.