LONDON, February 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Young people are increasingly taking a 'gap month' ( http://www.statravel.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/uk_division_web_live/hs.xsl/gap-year-travel.htm) as they look to stretch their holiday entitlement as far as possible without taking time out of education or work, according to STA Travel.
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Sales for flights to Asia are up by 25 per cent compared to this time last year for the youth travel specialist. Young travellers are increasingly building an itinerary taking in multiple countries in a month-long burst, meaning that south-east Asia is an ideal part of the world for this type of trip.
Thailand's capital Bangkok is driving the growth to the region thanks to the wide availability of flights to Bangkok ( http://www.statravel.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/uk_division_web_live/hs.xsl/cheap-flights-to-bangkok.htm) and its notoriety as a great starting place for a trip within the student community in particular. However others such as Beijing, Singapore, Delhi and Hong Kong are seeing high double-figure growth against this time last year as secondary hub cities from which to explore countries including China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India and Thailand.
Managing director John Constable said: "Not only does this region offer some of the most incredible cultural, wildlife and natural sights in the world, it is also relative easy, quick and good value to travel around.
"Young people are more aware than ever of the pressures on budgeting for their travels, thanks to rising student fees in coming years. Also, those who are in full-time employment and choose to take a 'gap month' have limited time and so naturally wish to see as much as possible."
As a result STA Travel is seeing a surge in interest in its tours, such as the 30-day Indochina Discovery tour which starts and finishes in Bangkok and includes the likes of Angkor Wat, the Mekong River, Halong Bay, white sandy beaches in Cambodia and Vietnam, Luang Prabang and the attractions of Northern Thailand.
Other popular tours include the 17-day Roam China tour which explores Shanghai and Hong Kong, Yangshuo's karst scenery, includes a cruise along the Three Gorges of the Yangtse River, and takes in the historic cities of Xi'an and Beijing. Growing fast in popularity is the 15-day Delhi to Kathmandu Adventure tour which contrasts the bustle and colour of India with the pristine serenity of Nepal's Himalayan Mountains and its capital Kathmandu.
"Taking part in tours such as these means that they're able to see all the key sights and pack in as much as possible! Plus the shorter duration tours are popular with people who want to do their own thing for part of their gap month, it gives them the best of both worlds," explained Constable.
30-day Indochina Discovery Tour: Prices from GBP1499 per person. It includes key excursions, all accommodation and tour transportation (local bus, air-con bus, train, tuk tuk, local boat, junk boat) during the tour. Some meals are included in the price. This does not include international flights to and from Bangkok. Excursions which are included: Mekong Delta, Beaches of Nha Trang, Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch and Guide, Phnom Penh walking tour, Unique local Khmer meal experience, Slow boat up the Mekong, Temples of Luang Prabang, Limestone Karsts of Vang Vieng. The average size of the group is 10 people - maximum is 15. To book go to http://www.statravel.co.uk or call +44(0)871-230-0040.
15-day Delhi and Kathmandu Adventure: Prices from GBP749 per person. It includes key excursions, all accommodation and transportation during the tour. Some meals are included in the price. This does not include international flights. Explore the vibrant streets of Agra, Delhi and Jaipur, sail the Ganges River, walk through rural villages, ride an elephant in Chitwan National Park, experience Nepal's mountain views. Excursions which are included: India Gate and Connaught Place, Entrance fees to Amber Palace, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Taj Mahal and Red Fort, Orchha Palace Complex, River Ganges Boat trip at sunrise and sunset (including candle flower ceremony), Orientation walk along the ghats and old city in Varanasi, Buddha's birthplace in Lumbini, Guided elephant safari in Chitwan National Park, Sarangkot sunrise excursion, Kathmandu orientation walk, Swayambhunath (the monkey temple). To book go to http://www.statravel.co.uk or call +44(0)871-230-0040.
Return flight from London to Bangkok from GBP435 with Oman Air. Valid for travel from the UK 01/02/11-30/06/11, must be booked by 14/04/11. To book go to http://www.statravel.co.uk or call +44(0)871-230-0040.
Return flight from London to Beijing from GBP429 with China Southern Airlines. Valid for travel from the UK 01/02/11-30/06/11, must be booked by 28/02/11.To book go to http://www.statravel.co.uk or call +44(0)871-230-0040.
SOURCE STA Travel