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Imperial Tours Launches New Tour Product

June 24, 2010 By: Meagan Drillinger

Travel Agent attended a virtual press conference this afternoon with Imperial Tours founder, Guy Rubin, who was live from Beijing launching the company's new tour product, China Escapades.

Until recently, Imperial Tours provided only small luxury tours called Ultimate China. These were fully inclusive and designed for travelers who wanted a flawless travel experience without having to lift a finger. While the company still offers this type of experience, they found that there was no option for repeat travelers looking for price point for the current economy. Enter China Escapades.

China Escapades, launched June 24, was designed in reaction to an increasing demand in the luxury market for less "hand-holding" and more price sensitivity. Still completely luxury and dedicated to their motto, "The 'Best' is Our 'Norm,'" China Escapades is geared more toward the experienced and adventurous traveler who prefers independence. These travelers are still seeking luxury, but are price sensitive.

So what are the major differences? First and foremost, cost. China Escapades starts at $800 per person, while Ultimate China rings in at $1,300. Second, while Ultimate China provides a 24-hour traveling Concierge, guests of Escapades are equipped with a cell phone to access a Virtual Concierge. Escapades travelers are given suggested menus at top restaurants for dinner, while Ultimate China travelers have all of their meals included.

Other than that, the service will remain the same. Rubin and his wife and business partner, Nancy Kim, strive to create 'Imperial Moments,' which include introducing travelers to destinations and adding depth to experiences. Previous 'moments' have included private dinners with novelists, cooking lessons, access to design studios and, our favorite, a guided trip within the Forbidden City. Five-star accommodations (think Hotel of Modern Art Guilin, Aman at Summer Palace Beijing and Park Hyatt Shanghai), top restaurants, the best shopping, top-of-the-line cars and more are all standards of both tour options.

Until June 24 this product was available only to the Travel Advisory Council, which has been testing the product since March of this year. Currently it is available to the entire travel agent community and they are already accepting reservations for China Escapades.

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