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[Shenzhen] World Cup trip too costly for most
Latest Updated by 2006-05-23 10:35:45
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FOR a true soccer fan, the best place to watch the World Cup would be with thousands of other screaming supporters in a stadium in Germany rather than in front of the TV at home.

However, a trip to Germany to fulfill that dream is beyond the reach of most Shenzheners.

Volker Stanzel, the German ambassador to China, said that were very few soccer fans from Guangdong Province going to Germany for the World Cup. But he did not elaborate further.

"Customers shake their heads after knowing the price," a spokesman for the China Merchants International Travel (Shenzhen) said. He estimated an eight-day package trip for the game would range from 30,000 (US$3,750) to 35,000 yuan per person because of incredibly expensive hotel rates and airfare.

Local travel agencies such as the China Travel Service Group (Shenzhen) are not offering World Cup tours, but agencies in Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong are.

China Travel Service Group (Guangdong) is taking applications for its eight-day tour to the World Cup, during which customers can watch the match between England and Uruguay, priced at 33,100 yuan, or Portugal and Iran, priced at 23,100 yuan.

In Hong Kong, the Sunflower Travel offers five different package tours starting from HK$26,000 (US$3,250). The most expensive one, priced at HK$103,999, enables soccer fans to watch three matches involving Argentina, Brazil, England, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The Beijing-based Caissa Travel expects to take 2,000 soccer fans on World Cup tours, said Ge Mu, the agency's marketing manager.

The German consulate general in Beijing said people who want to attend World Cup matches should apply for visas no later than June 2. A tourist visa costs 380 yuan.

World Cup tickets can be purchased from the Web site for about 300 euros (US$360) each.

Editor: Wing

By: Tan Xiaomi Source: Szdaily web edition
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