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USTOA Touts Savings through Tour Operators Versus Do-It-YourselfSeptember 14, 2010 By: George Dooley
A trip to Asia does not have to break the bank according to the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA). USTOA members can offer savings on Asia tours, custom vacations, and cruises up to 80 percent over doing-it-yourself, making travel more affordable, even for those on a tight budget. By booking during low season, travelers can realize additional savings of up to 20 percent, USTOA reports.
USTOA offers three samples Asia vacations with comparisons over booking on your own, and savings as high as $2,750 per person.
See Bangkok and save to 80 percent, or $775, on Brendan Vacation’s six-day, five- night “Bangkok Brilliance” land only custom vacation. From $199 per person through March 31, 2011, this low season pricing includes five nights at a four-star Radisson with a free upgrade to a deluxe room, roundtrip transfers from the airport, and hotel taxes. Brendan approximates that just the do-it-yourself hotel cost would be $974 per person. This custom itinerary can be booked anytime. For reservations phone 1-800-421-8446 or visit www.brendanvacations.com.
Travelers save $271, or 17 percent, in October high season on a China seven-day Yangtze River downstream cruise tour from Pacific Delight Tours. The $1,339 per person, land only price offers a six night downstream cruise visiting Chongqing, Fengdu, Small Three Gorges, Huangshan Mountain, Nanjing, and Shanghai. Included on the cruise tour are an outside cabin with private balcony, all meals, all shore excursions, on board activities, and port charges. If purchased independently, Pacific Delight Tours estimates the comparable price for hotel stays would be $1,610 alone. In shoulder, season (November), when the price is $1,169 per person, travelers can save an additional $170, or 12 percent on the departure cost. Travel is valid through November 8, 2010 and must be booked one month prior to departure. For reservations phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.
From mid to late December high season, travelers can save up to $2,750— or 50 percent— over booking on their own, with Super Value Tours’ seven-day Kansai Japan tour visiting Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Kobe. Featured are roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles (or New York City for $100 additional), five nights accommodations in four- or five-star hotels including one night in a hot spring hotel, most meals, transportation, and an English-speaking guide. Air-inclusive cost in high season begins at $2,650 per person.
For travelers to duplicate this same itinerary on their own in high season would cost $5,400, says Super Value. According to the company, this breaks down to $800 for hotels, $1,300 for airfare from Los Angeles, $400 for transfers, $150 for sightseeing, $350 for meals, $2,400 for guided services.
Additional savings from 20 percent are available during low season. Book anytime for travel through December 31. Visit www.supervaluetours.com.
All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date.
For more information and a list of member companies offering travel in Asia, visit www.USTOA.com, or www.USTOA.travel.