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With restrictions lifted, HK agents eye more versatile tour package ideas Prudence Lui, Hong Kong, January 26, 2017
The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) will adopt its outbound committee's proposal to lift restrictions on partners as well as packages and tour-related gifts that agents are allowed to offer with effect from March 2017, a pro-competition move that many in the trade are eagerly anticipating.

Trade unworried by closure of Tourism Malaysia offices nationwide S Puvaneswary, Kuala Lumpur, January 26, 2017
The Malaysian trade is not fretting over the government's closure of 14 state Tourism Malaysia offices nationwide, instead seeing it as an opportunity for better deployment of resources in other more needed areas.

More robot-run hotels to greet guests in Japan Kathryn Wortley,Tokyo, January 26, 2017
Travel agency H.I.S. is on its way to open at least two robot hotels in Japan this year, after some 80,000 guests passed through the doors of its debut property, Henn na Hotel, which opened in Nagasaki's Huis Ten Bosch theme park in July 2015.

Emerging APAC countries to dominate outbound travel growth Singapore, January 26, 2017
Outbound travellers from emerging Asia-Pacific markets currently outnumber those from developed Asia-Pacific market by 1.5 times, and this figure is poised to grow more than twice as fast over the next five years (7.6 per cent vs. 3.3 per cent CAGR), according to the Future of Outbound Travel in Asia Pacific (2016 to 2021) report by Mastercard.

Hilton weaves Tapestry brand of independent hotels McLean, Virginia, January 26, 2017
Hilton has launched its 14th brand and second collection brand, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, to meet rising customer and owner demand for original upscale hotels with an independent character.

Major overhaul for Daydream Island Resort in Great Barrier Reef The Whitsundays, Australia, January 26, 2017
Daydream Island Resort and Spa's owners China Capital Investment Group has announced a A$50-plus-million-dollar (US$37.6-plus million) redevelopment which will see a significant makeover to the resort located in The Whitsundays, Queensland.

HKTB's guide to 12 fortune hotspots in Hong Kong Hong Kong, January 26, 2017
Chinese zodiac enthusiasts seeking an adventure would be glad to know they can put their almanacs aside and take a trip to Hong Kong instead. Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) recommends 12 auspicious spots matched with the 12 zodiac animal signs.

TTG Asia goes on break for Lunar New Year Singapore, January 26, 2017
TTG Asia will be taking a break from January 27-31, 2017, for the Lunar New Year holidays. News will resume on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Price wars threaten survival of smaller players in Thai inbound sector Chadamas Chinmaneevong, Bangkok, January 25, 2017
The economic slowdown in Europe and stiff competition in the marketplace are spelling a particularly tough period for smaller players in Thailand's European inbound tour sector, who have seen tour prices plunge by half in recent years.

Are GDSs still useful for travel agents? Yixin Ng, Singapore, January 25, 2017
The question of whether GDSs remains a relevant middleman in today's evolving travel landscape continues to be a hot topic of discussion at ASEAN Tourism Conference during ATF last week, as industry players bring different sides of the argument to the table.

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