Morning Star to open travel outlet

MORNING Star Group has teamed up with China International Travel Service (CITS) and another mainland partner to open a travel agency in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.

The venture, Suzhou Morning Star Travel Services, will be 50 per cent owned by Morning Star Travel, with the remainder divided between CITS Suzhou and Suhua, a partner in one of the group's real estate projects in Suzhou.

Morning Star Travel chief Aloysius Lee said CITS could take advantage of the group's expertise and international network.

The venture will raise Morning Star's profile on the mainland where it is aggressively expanding, mainly in travel and tourism and in real estate development.

The traffic between Hongkong and China was heavy and expected to grow as the mainland maintained its open-door policy, he said.

Suzhou Morning Star Travel will deal mostly with outbound travel from China to Asian countries but will also offer travel-related services, including inbound and corporate travel and even selling souvenir items.

Morning Star Holdings finance director Ricor da Silveira said the group was looking for partners in additional travel service ventures it intended to open in China.

Morning Star has also teamed up with Suhua to form Suzhou Huaxing Real Estate Development which has acquired a 380,000 square metre site for residential development.