Thu, Mar 13, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Tour prices to Malaysia, Thailand to drop: group

DESTINATIONS:The prices of tours to some places in China and Japan will also be lower than last year, but those to the US, Europe and South Korea will increase

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Local travel agencies are planning to introduce discount tours to Malaysia and Thailand next month to boost interest in the two destinations, which have been affected by a travel safety incident and political unrest respectively.

The Travel Quality Assurance Association yesterday announced its list of package tour prices for different destinations around the world for next month and June. While the prices for tours to the US, Europe and South Korea will be higher than last year, those for travel to Malaysia and Thailand will drop by NT$1,000.

The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane en route to Beijing on Saturday has affected travel interest in the nation, the association said.

“We would be lying if we say that it has not affected the travel market,” Luo Kuo-hua (羅國華), the association’s travel safety committee chairman, said, but added that it is not likely to affect business in the long run.

Travel to Thailand has also dropped because of the political unrest in Bangkok, he said.

Many travel agencies plan to offer discount tours next month to attract more tourists to the two Southeast Asian countries, the association said.

Meanwhile, people planning to visit Tokyo, the Kansai area or Hokkaido in Japan can expect to see prices drop by NT$1,000 to NT$3,000 compared with last year, but those heading to Mount Tate in Toyama Prefecture will have to pay NT$1,000 more, it said.

Interest in South Korea has risen because of the popularity of the TV series My Love from the Star and the cherry blossom season, and the increased demand has driven up tour prices by about NT$2,000 to NT$3,000 compared with last year, the association said.

Prices for tours to the US west coast are to rise by NT$2,000 to NT$4,000 as accommodation charges, bus fares and entrance ticket prices have increased, it said. Tour packages to Canada are also to rise by NT$1,000 to NT$2,000.

Tours to Europe will see an even sharper increase of NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 following increases in airfares and exchange rates.

As for China, prices will vary by region. Trips to China’s northeast, south central and southwest will see prices drop by NT$2,000 to NT$7,000, while those to the northwest will rise by NT$3,000 to NT$6,000, and those to the east will increase by NT$2,000.

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