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7,999 yuan holidays to Hawaii

Shanghainese will be able to take a holiday in Hawaii for 7,999 yuan (US$1,170) from September 15.

The Hawaii tourism authority yesterday announced the first package holidays for Chinese tourists, a six-day, four-night (including flying time) trip to Hawaii for 7,999 yuan available until January 15.

The package covers attractions as Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Iolani Palace and the iconic Waikiki beach.

Unlike tours, tourists on package holidays are free to do things at their own pace.

Package tours of the same duration to Hawaii usually cost 16,000 yuan. It is the first semi-independent travel package offered since group tours to the United States started in June last year.

"Hawaii is an ideal destination to try out semi-independent travel in the US," said an official with Hawaii Travel Authority as quoted by Oriental Morning Post today. "It is quite reasonable for individual tourists to have more fun and less language problems in such a beautiful island."

The cut-price deal, which may be extended, makes it attractive, said an official with Shanghai International Travel Service, which is offering the package.

Tour packages to the US have been hot products and have been seen as a step forward in the development of Sino-American relations.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in Washington DC to greet the first group from Chinese mainland last year.

(Shanghai Daily August 27, 2009)