3 Travel Agencies Cut Overseas Tour Prices 15-20% For Oct-March

TOKYO (Nikkei)–JTB Corp., Nippon Travel Agency Co. and Jalpak Co. on Thursday each unveiled overseas tour packages that cost on average 15-20% less than a year ago thanks to the strong yen and reduced fuel surcharges.

Beginning Friday, JTB will gradually launch its package tours for departure between October and March, with prices down an average of 15-20%. It aims to tap demand among those passing up overseas trips this summer because of such factors as the economic downturn and the A/H1N1 influenza virus. As a result, the agency is targeting a 10% rise in sales to 750,000 travelers.

For the first time, JTB has put together a tour to Saudi Arabia that will take in such sights as the World Heritage-listed archaeological site of Madain Salih. It will cost between 579,000 yen and 699,000 yen. With few Japanese tourists visiting Saudi Arabia, JTB will home in on well-traveled seniors.

Nippon Travel lowered the price of packages to all destinations by 18% on average. It has 15 tours based on environmental themes. For instance, a seven-day trip to Iceland will include a tour of a geothermal-powered plant.

Meanwhile, Jalpak has cut the prices of its tours to all parts of the world by an average of 20%. It boasts a strong lineup for the upwardly mobile and will also begin selling tours to Los Angeles and Chicago that will include premium economy-class seats on flights by parent Japan Airlines Corp.

(The Nikkei July 17 morning edition)

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