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Hainan tours popular and pricy
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Traveling to Hainan may be more expensive than to some Southeast Asian destinations this Spring Festival, industry sources said yesterday.


Tour agencies said most tours to the southern province have been booked, and the most expensive trips cost 7,000 yuan (US$946) each, about 1,000 yuan more than last year.


The price is about four times more than in other seasons and is even higher than a tour to Phuket in Thailand.


The soaring prices of hotels and tour guides are the main reason for the additional cost of Hainan tours. Four- and five-star hotels in Sanya ask for 3,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan a night during Chinese New Year, about twice the usual price, agencies said.


Prices are expected to drop about 1,000 yuan from February 10 and then return to the usual charges from February 15.


Although Hainan tour complaints have increased in recent years – mostly over horrible service and vendors cheating tourists – the natural attraction still lures tourists, according to Shanghai Airlines Holiday Tours Co Ltd.


``The tropical scenes in Hainan are unique in China, with the best beaches and the most beautiful blue sea,'' said Hu Xin, supervisor of the company's public relations department.


Hu said that in recent years Hainan has built many first-class hotels and entertainment facilities.


The recent batch of cold and snowy weather has also made many people think of a warm holiday on the island, according to Hu.


``More people are choosing to travel during this Spring Festival because the May Day holiday is cancelled,'' said Hu.


Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sichuan and Yunnan are the other popular destinations for the festival and prices are 50 percent higher than usual, agencies said.



(Shanghai Daily January 28, 2008)


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