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Package Tour Prices to Rise as World Cup Ends

Holiday package tour prices will increase by an average of 10 percent from tomorrow and prices for certain destinations will rise by as much as 1,000 yuan (US$125) compared with last year, the Daily Sunshine reported Saturday, citing local travel agencies in south China's Shenzhen City.


The travel agencies also said that more people are signing up for package tours this year compared with last year and the two most popular routes are the Qinghai-Tibet tour and the Southeast Asia tour, according to the report. Meanwhile, the conclusion of the World Cup will enable soccer fans to join tour groups, which is expected to push the number of tourists leaving Shenzhen up by more than 30 percent, the agencies said.


The price hike will even encompass the least popular route, the Hainan tour, the price for which will rise by 100 yuan. "Discounts for plane tickets have been down since July 1 and too many people booking for plane tickets makes discount rate very changeable," the report cited a local travel agency employee as saying.


However, the price hike hasn't affected business much. According to statistics by the Shenzhen branch of China International Travel Service Co., Jubang Travel Service Co. and Comort Travel Service Co., the number of Shenzhen residents who have signed up for tours leaving this week has risen 30 percent over the same period last year.


"I was staying up late watching the World Cup and now I want to take advantage of the summer holiday to travel with my family and have fun," a tourist surnamed Zheng was cited as saying.


The continuing hot weather and the upcoming summer holiday will make the peak season last until mid-August, insiders said.


(Shenzhen Daily July 10, 2006)


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