Despite higher costs, more set to travel during Easter

Top News | Amy Nip 9 Mar 2018

The number of travelers joining group tours for the Easter break is expected to rise 10 percent from last year and, on average, they will pay 5 percent more.

Taking an extra three days off to link the Easter and Ching Ming Festival holidays will allow workers 10 days' leave, making it easier for them to go on long trips, the Travel Industry Council said.

Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as Russia are popular destinations.

Shorter trips to Japan and South Korea are also on demand as the holiday period coincides with the cherry blossom season.

Among low-budget short trips, the cost of Taipei tours rose the most: a four-day, three-night tour will cost HK$4,199, or 50 percent more than last year.

A five-day Bangkok tour costs a minimum of HK$4,399 - an increase of 33 percent. A five-day package to Japan will cost at least HK$9,799, up 27 percent.

Luxurious trips are faring well. A 19-day tour to South America - at a staggering HK$99,998 - is well-received, showing Hongkongers' growing appetite for non-conventional trips.

It stops on Darwin Island in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.

An eight-day Russia tour boasting business-class tickets, five-star hotels and caviar meals goes for HK$53,998 - triple the priciest European tour last Easter.

Still, bargains remain. Tours to Singapore and Malaysia have become cheaper: a five-day tour costs a minimum of HK$4,289, down 25 percent.

Prices of the cheapest trips to the United States, Africa and Europe have gone down by 17 to 27 percent. A week-long tour to America costs HK$7,899.

Jason Wong Chun-tat, general manager at Hong Thai Travel Services, said 80 percent of all trips departing during the holidays are full.

Cherry blossom tours and long-distance trips are hotly sought after this Easter, with Japan and South Korea the most popular destinations.

There are additional flights heading to Daegu, the fourth largest city in South Korea. Trips to the city were fully booked earlier this month.

But cherry isn't the only blossom to appreciate. There are tours to Guilin, Nanchang, Wuhan and Shanghai, where rapeseed, peach blossom and moutan peony are attractions.

The Mediterranean is hot for long-distance travelers, with popular stops including Dubai, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan and Turkey. Right behind them are the Balkans, Russia and Eastern Europe.

amy.nip@singtaonewscorp.com

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