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ASIAtalkBEIJING PLANS TO BUILD NEW AIR­PORT The municipal government of Beijing re­cently announced that it is planning to start con­struction of a new airport in 2011. The new airport will be the city's second, and is expected to help ease the traffic pressure on Beijing Capital Inter­national Airport. It is also expected to help turn the Chinese capital into an Asian aviation hub. THAI CUISINE TOP DRAW FOR TOUR­ISTS The distinctive culinary flavours of Thai cooking is the top reason for repeat visit to the country, according to the Visa-Pacific Asia Trav­el Association (PATA). Among respondents who would consider visiting Thailand in the next two years, 61 percent are repeat travelers who said they would be drawn to visit again by the culinary experiences that Thailand offers. MALAYSIA AIMS TO BECOME A PRE­MIER DUTY FREE DESTINATNATION In an ef­fort to position Malaysia as a premier duty free shopping destination, the Malaysian Government recently announced the waiver of duty on roughly 400 imported goods beginning in January 2011. The tax will be waived to attract a wider range of luxury brands to invest in Malaysia. The move also facilitates competitive pricing of imported merchandise, giving Malaysian retailers a compet­itive edge over retailers in other countries. INDONESIA TO BUILD FIRST ECOTOUR­ISM VILLAGE IN WORLD Habitat for Hu­manity Indonesia has announced it is partnering with Asia Pulp & Paper to create Habitat's first eco-tourism village of more than 420 homes and guest accommodations near some of Indonesia's most picturesque ancient temples. HAINANNANNAN AIRLINENES WINS PRESTIGIOUS 5 STATAR RATATING FROM SKYTRAX Hainan Airlines was awarded the honour of a "Skytrax Five-Star Airline" at a gala awards ceremony in Beijing. The award was presented by SKYTRAX President Edward Plaisted to Hain­an Airlines President Wang Ying Ming. With this award, Hainan Airlines officially becomes the world's seventh five-star airline. CAPSULE HOTEL TREND CATCCATCHES ON IN CHINA Amid an explosion of leisure travel in China, the world's most populous country has followed Japan's lead in the capsule hotel market. The first capsule hotel in Shanghai has opened less than a month before the Spring Festival holi­day, when hundreds of millions of people criss­cross the country to celebrate Lunar New Year with family. The hotel has 68 cabinet-sized rooms imported from Japan -- where capsule hotels orig­inated -- each equipped with a power point, clock, light, television and wireless internet. The men-only hotel charges 68 yuan ($10) for 10 hours or 88 yuan for 24 hours. DEMANAND FOR BUSINENESS CLACLACLASS TO IN­CREASE IN 2011 Asia's airline industry has made a full recovery from its worst downturn in the wake of the global recession and air travel in the region has returned to pre-crisis levels with a strong surge in premium travel. Asian carri­ers, like Singapore Airlines are leading the way forward. SIA had reduced capacity by about 10 per cent as a result of the global economic slowdown last year but it is starting to reinstate some flights and services. KOREANEANEAN AIR ANNANNANNOUNCENCENCES UNIQUE BUSINESS CLASS ON A380 Korean Air will launch its first A380 service in May 2011 with the entire upper deck of the aircraft devoted to busi­ness class flyers. The unique configuration of the two story aircraft will allow Business Class Flyers "to feel exclusivity like they're traveling in their own private jet," stated Senior VP Walter Cho.