As I write this letter, I am 30,000 feet over Korea, on the way to Jeju Island for two days of golf. I will play Tameus Golf Club and Pinx Golf Club, where Tiger Woods played for Ballantine’s Golf Championship. I have heard a great deal about Jeju from my friends and clients in Korea; it is a frequent getaway destination for Koreans, Japanese and Chinese. The island is large, with more than 40 golf courses, and is known for its seafood. I will report in upcoming issues on my games.
In Seoul, I stayed at the Lotte Hotel, next to the famous Lotte Department Store, where I also stayed on my first trip to Korea in 1989. The hotel has a magnificent Club Floor Lounge, wonderful suites and top service. As I came down the hallway laden with bags, the maid rushed ahead to open my guestroom door. This is part of the Korean hospitality I have come to expect.
I had the opportunity to meet the new general manager for the Hyatt Regency Incheon and tour the property. Paul Wright is ready to take possession of the Hyatt’s second tower, to open later this year, which will double capacity, making Incheon a real meetings and conventions destination for gatherings of 500–600 persons.
I caught up with Young-Do Yoon, president and CEO of Asiana Airlines, at its headquarters and got an update on the progress of the Airbus A380 product which will fly to Los Angeles next year. The top-secret designs add business-class seats to LAX (greatly needed) and offer a product superior to others now operating the A380 on their routes. Asiana launched a new first-class suite, already flying to Chicago and starting in New York in July.
As Global Traveler’s World Headquarters is located in the Greater Philadelphia area, we are pleased to welcome Qatar Airways as it joins the oneworld alliance and ties into the US Airways (soon to be American Airlines) hub at Philadelphia International Airport. The airport has long been the “stepchild” of the Northeast, so close to Newark, Baltimore Washington International and even Dulles. Philadelphians not flying British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa or US Airways learned to commute to Newark or JFK to catch an international flight. I hope Qatar Airways opens up more opportunities.
This issue comes out when most are on their summer vacations. I will be taking a much-needed break in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Enjoy your getaways!
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