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Eight Casinos To Welcome In The New Year

Many people think that 2011 will be a lucky year. Online gaming site GR88 has listed their top eight casinos and resorts where travelers can spend the new year. "The GR88 team looks forward to an outstanding year, filled with great success for all of our loyal players," said Charles Exeter, GR88 spokesperson. "With our players in mind, we are pleased to list the eight greatest casinos to ring in the New Year."

1- Crown Casino, Melbourne Australia. Get a jump on the new year at this casino's annual celebration that will include three difference party arenas, mixing the tracks of the best DJ's in the world such as Finlo White, Phil Ross, Tate Strauss, Joe Sofo and Kitty Kat, Jono Earle & Chris Mac. The casino's New Year celebration will include stunning burlesque dancers, cocktail specials and giveaways all night long.

2- The Palms, Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to its over-the-top suites, the Palms also offers a wide list of events in its nightclubs. Their 30 Seconds to Mars NYE Package includes two nights in a Palms Deluxe room, two concert tickets and four free drinks at any casino bar starting from $850.

3- The Venetian Macao resort on China's Cotai Strip is modeled after its Las Vegas sister hotel and features largest casino in the world with over 550,000 square feet of gaming. This year's events include a party at Blue Frog bar and grill and shows at the ZAIA Cirque du Soleil theater.

4- Sun City, South Africa offers a variety of New Year's Eve options in an exotic setting. The resort has four hotels and a wave pool, and also offers safaris in its own private park as well as golf and of course, for this list, a lavish casino. There are 340 air-conditioned rooms and suites and several different restaurants and bars.

5- Atlantis Resort, Bahamas. The Atlantis resort often makes the list of ideal places to spend your New Year's Eve. In addition to white sand beaches, oodles of pools and lavish accommodations, the resort is home to the largest casino in the Caribbean with 980 slot machines and 78 gaming tables including baccarat, roulette, craps, blackjack and Caribbean stud poker, and a high limit table area called the Baccarat Lounge.

6- Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco. The classic choice for a lavish and legendary New Year's Eve celebration is the Casino de Monte Carlo. It was designed by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera, and its lobby features a marble-paved atrium with 28 Ionic columns as well as lavish bronze and gold ornaments. The casino features 316 slot machines and 35 tables for Roulette, craps, and blackjack.

7- Casino Metropol, Moscow, Russia. You probably wouldn't think of Russia for casinos but the Casino Metropol, part of the Hotel Metropol is located just a few minutes from the Red Square and the Kremlin. The 24-hour casino also features 11 tables with blackjack, roulette and poker.

8- St. James Club, Mamora Bay, Antigua. The main attraction here isn't the casino, it's the warm weather and beautiful beaches. The St. James Club is a high-end resort is nestled on a 100-acre private peninsula, with the sea bordering three sides of the resort. The resort has plenty of options for everyone: and at night there's the disco and the small but glamorous casino, which is the place to gamble on the island. (Credit: Luxist)

 

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James Packer Crown Casino Whale Talks Tourism, by Greg Tingle - 19th March 2011

Australia's foremost gambling tycoon, James Packer, is growing tied of the Australian government's lack of action in improving the tourism sector, which in return effects his casino tourism arm, with the high rollers, schools of "whales", super dolphins and the like tipping to be swimming more for oriental waters, rather than down under Pacific Ocean way. Yep, that's the general school of thought.

Singapore is continuing a roaring trade in the casino and resort tourism dollar, and insiders think this this may be beginning to really snatch away some potential business from Melbourne's Crown Casino and Burswood, which now boasts two of the most valuable and profitable integrated casino resorts in the world, Packer says the time for talk is over.

"One of the problems for state and federal governments of both political persuasions in Australia is that no one sets any key performance indicators for tourism," he told Rupert Murdoch publication, The Weekend Australian.

"That lets people muddle about on things with good intentions without ever actually making the rubber hit the road. Whereas in Singapore, it is all about the rubber hitting the road.

"They are a country that used to get the same number of tourists as Australia, around 5 million. They are now at 11 million tourists. We are at 5 million. And they have stated publicly that they have an aim and ambition that they will receive 17 million tourists in 2015."

Singapore has bragging rights of 13 consecutive months of record visitor numbers, achieving its highest visitor arrivals for a single month in December with 1.1 million visitors, 16% up on last year.

Experts tip the main attribute in seeing Singapore's big numbers is last year's launch of the $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa casino and the $5.94bn Marina Bay Sands, the second most expensive casino in the world.

Both casino resorts are understood to have accounted for 1.7% of Singapore's nominal gross domestic product last year when GDP leap frogged 14.7%.

Packer has a few more reasons than the average Joe to be a bit worried about the rise of the Singapore dragons (no offence to dragons, including dragons in training or Singaporeans). Singapore is writing the "who to" book and blueprint on casino tourism, just when many experts thought Macau were the experts.

The Singapore dragons wrath on the regional casino market gave birth to an 8% dip in VIP turnover at Packer's two dinkum Aussie casinos, Crown in Melbourne and Burswood in Perth, in the 6 months to December 31. Burswood really felt the pain, with VIP whale revenue down 14.3% compared with Crown's 5.5 % dive.

Crown states 15% of its casino revenues comes from high-rollers. That's a considerable amount.

Packer points to the way Australia sells itself to the world, and specifically affluent Asians, as a tourist destination, and he chooses his words carefully.

"We are not saying it is the government's fault. We are saying we would like to work with the government to try and make Australia a more attractive and compelling and successful tourism destination".

The recent Japanese natural disasters, along with our our own floods and cyclones in Queensland, are expected to put increased pressure on Japanese tourism, the fifth-largest provider of inbound tourists to Australia behind New Zealand, Britain, the US and China.

"We all thought the Oprah exercise (where Tourism Australia last year paid $1.5m for 100 minutes of US exposure on Oprah Winfrey's TV chat show) was fantastic, but when I was in America just recently I saw an advertisement with three Americans in a Land Rover driving around a paddock watching kangaroos. And I thought to myself, it is a lovely image but to be kind, it is very niche," Packer says.

Packer says Crown wants more from what he terms his "silent majority partners".

"The total taxes we paid last year to the three levels of government...federal, state and municipal...was well over double our net profit after tax. We believe we are investing in our businesses, providing the government with an excellent economic return for our licences and we also think we are working hard to ensure that our other stakeholders benefit from our business," he says.

"The government is doing very well being the silent majority partner of our company and we are competing against some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world and what we are trying to do is bring more people to Australia to spend money and conduct economic activity here."

Crown and competitor Tabcorp Holdings, owner of 'Sin City' Sydney's Star City and the Gold Coast's Jupiters casinos, are spending billions of dollars on big capital expenditure programs, including revamped VIP gaming facilities, hotels, lear jets and more.

"My impression is that we have spent more on capital expenditure in the past five years than any non-mining industrial company in Australia," Packer says. "I think there is a perception out there that these businesses are licences to print money. They are terrific businesses, but they are not that. These businesses have a very significant ongoing capex requirement, which places limits on the real cash available to be returned to shareholders."

A not particularly well known fact is that last year, Crown received the Employer of the Year award at the Australian Government's Australian Training Awards.

Packer's call for a more integrated tourism strategy for Australia is fully supported by Tourism Australia chairman and ex Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, who is also on the Crown board. "While I am obviously a director of Crown, it doesn't change the fact that our integrated resorts in Australia must be competitive with those in Asia, especially Singapore," Dixon says.

"This is not just about Crown, it is about...the other integrated resort casinos within Australia."

What Crown and Tabcorp are seeking is additional assistance from government and the private sector on co-ordinating visa access and improving facilities at airports for VIP high roller tourists.

In Singapore, high rolling whales are greeted by officials at Changi airport, and promptly escorted through a private lounge area for fast-tracked customs and immigration procedures.

"We have started some initial discussions with Melbourne and Perth airports, and they are quite interested in the concept," says Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie. He advised there have been communications with government and the state and federal tourism authorities. "The doors seem to be open," he says confidently.

Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson agrees casinos have an important role to play in the nation's tourism strategies, as well he should, but he states there needs to be more research before major decisions are taken that affect the sector.

"Casinos attract high-yield visitors that spend on average double that of other international visitors," he shared.

"Through both our marketing efforts such as the $150m global 'There's Nothing Like Australia' campaign and the National Long Term Tourism Strategy, we will continue to work closely with casinos, airlines, hotels, tour operators and the many other hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the tourism sector to ensure Australia remains competitive as a tourism destination.

"That requires encouraging investment in new stock, finding the right staff and reducing barriers to their employment in the sector, while providing comprehensive research to allow informed decisions to be taken."

Chef and restaurant owner Neil Perry, also a mate and business associate of Packer, whose "lucky" seven Australian restaurants include outlets at Crown and Burswood, agrees.

"While I am focused on local clientele, we need a good mix of international tourists to keep this business vibrant," he says.

Chinese tourists account for $2.8bn to the Australian tourism industry and by 2017 analysts expect that market will be worth about $5.5bn.

Korea, Singapore and Malaysia are also developing markets for Australia.

In January, Chinese tourists jumped 63% for the month, largely a spin off from Chinese New Year celebrations falling in February. Hong Kong visits were up 26% and Malaysia 25%.

At times like these Packer must be glad his had a global strategy in place, and is not totally at the mercy of the Australian market.

Packer and his time are also further developing online gaming and revenue aspects of Crown Limited, as well as getting his 50% Betfair better stocked with more online gaming offerings, acutely aware of recession resistance online based businesses like PartyGaming and also watching his mate, Richard Branson, take his airline, tourism, communication and gaming business to the next level.

Don't bet against Packer, but the smart money from betting agencies says that its safe to bet against the Australian state and federal government - with Labor set to fall, and a new and motivated Liberal - Nationals coalition ready to impress the people and the business sector

A Media Man spokesperson said 'There's no doubt that the Oprah Winfrey effect has some positive spin off for Australian tourism, certainly awareness leaped. Just hoe much different was made to the bottom line thanks to O is unclear. James Packer makes a good point about Australian tourism. We have a lot more to offer than just kangaroos. Bondi Beach is great, but so are casinos like Crown and Burswood, and our sports tourism and events are always, and how about our Aboriginal heritage. We are world class. More people need to help give the Australian government the message. Casinos are an idea place to help keep things going in the right direction, with all of the tourists, smart money and entertainment to be found."

CEO Magazine Rejects James Packer Interview Rumour...

Bean Media Group, publishers of the influential and highly-regarded business publication, The CEO Magazine, have today refused to confirm reports that The CEO Magazine will be conducting an exclusive interview with Australian businessman, James Packer. The CEO Magazine is Australia's leading business magazine focused directly at high-level executives in Australian companies. The CEO Magazine is a bi-monthly title that provides its readers with a wealth of articles discussing business strategy, expert opinion, analysis, corporate case studies, emerging trends, leadership, growth opportunities and challenges facing our country's leading business leaders. The CEO Magazine explores how Australian businesses can improve the way they manage their operations, staff, technology and supply chains with a view to creating a more profitable and successful business. Whilst The CEO Magazine is extremely meticulous in selection for interviews within the title, rumours of a one-on-one interview with James Packer have surfaced this week. "Due to the high profile nature of The CEO Magazine, it is impossible for us to confirm who will be included in upcoming magazines until publication date. Content is kept strictly between the publisher and any leading senior executive that have been chosen for selection," said a spokesperson for publisher, Bean Media Group. The next issue of The CEO Magazine is due out next month. About The CEO Magazine, Australia's leading business title specifically for high-level and senior executives. The publisher of The CEO Magazine is Bean Media Group, a multi-award-winning media company based in Sydney, Australia

 

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Planning an Australian Casino Vacation


For some, swimming with the sharks and deadly stingrays just doesn't offer enough risk. For these travelers, their idea of risk is whether the house is holding a winner. At one point not so long ago, Australia was a vacation haven for those looking for an exciting experience filled with scenic views and natural beauty. But recently, Australia has become noticed for its world-class hotels and casinos. With the natural allure of Australia's wonders combined with five-star hotel casino accommodations, Australia makes the ideal vacation hotspot for vacationers looking for a wider variety of memorable experiences.

The only problem you'll have now, is deciding which of the stunning casinos to call home while you're Down Under. Thanks to the Internet, you can easily search and compare the rates and amenities at the various casinos, while booking a cheap flight to Australia at the same time. Plenty of deals can be found if you just look for them online. One tip for planning your trip - try to book a flight departing in the middle of the week. You can save a bundle on both your airfare and your hotel rates simply by traveling on mid-week days, and if you're planning an Australia casino vacation, then that money will surely come in handy later on.

The Casino in Your Australia Casino Vacation

With hotel casinos in nearly every region of Australia, you'll want to know what the area has to offer along with your luxurious accommodations. Some casinos may be within walking distance of a famous golf course, while others may be a stone's throw from one of the world-renowned Australia beaches. Here are five Australia casinos to consider for your next visit Down Under.

* Country Club Casino - Located within the lush rolling hills of Launceston in Northern Tasmania, the Country Club Casino features expansive grounds that include an 18-hole golf course. With 88 rooms and 16 suites, the Club offers visitors an exclusive atmosphere that larger hotels lack. Rates start at $165 USD per night.

* Conrad Jupiters Hotel - In the heart of Queensland's famous Gold Coast lays the Conrad Jupiters Hotel. This five-star hotel casino provides every amenity a visitor would need to ensure their stay is exceptional. With a host of first-class restaurants, and a huge selection of nearby activities including theme parks, shopping, nightlife and golf, the visitor can get a real understanding of why this region is called the "Gold" Coast. The Conrad Jupiters has 594 rooms and 29 luxury suites. Rates start at $158 USD per night.

* SkyCity - A beachside resort situated right next to Mindil Beach in Darwin, SkyCity is set on 18 acres of prime Australian real estate. Enjoy playing in the huge casino and then stroll the grounds for a glimpse of the indigenous plants and animals that make SkyCity their home. With three award-winning restaurants on the premises, you know you'll always be enjoying the very best cuisine around. Rates start at $144 USD per night.

* Crown Promenade Hotel - One of Melbourne's highest regarded hotels, the Crown Promenade Hotel is like walking into a stream of fresh air. With a bright and airy atmosphere, the glass walls offer a panoramic view of the marvelous city or harbor. Melbourne is one of the most action-packed cities in Australia, and during your stay at the Crown Promenade, you'll be right in the middle of it all. Rates start at $170 USD per night.

* Star City Hotel Casino - Star City Hotel Casino overlooks the colorful Sydney Harbor and it's the only casino in the New South Wales region. An all-round entertainment center in itself, the Star City Hotel Casino offers nightly live music and performances designed to make your stay at the luxury hotel a memorable and exciting one. Rates start at $210 USD per night for this Sydney, Australia getaway.

An Australia Casino Vacation to Remember

Imagine coming back to your hotel room after a day spent diving the Great Barrier Reef, walking among world-famous art galleries or driving your Australia rental car to investigate the mysteries of the Aborigines. Enjoy an incredible five-star dinner then spend the evening trying your luck at the casino. Is there any better sounding vacation? With so much to see and do Down Under, choosing an Australia casino vacation is like winning a high stakes game of poker - it's exhilarating!

 

Australian Casino Hotels

Taking a vacation is often one of the most exciting things you will do in any given year. A vacation to beautiful Australia can make for wonderful memories that will last your entire life. If you want to stay where you play, then you’re in luck, because just about all of Australia’s casinos offer hotels for your Australia casino vacations!

Do It All in Australia Casino Hotels

If you can’t decide which Australian casino hotel will be best for you, check out as many as you want by taking a tour of Australian casino hotels. These tours often offer special rates, especially for the times of year when school is out and people are able to travel. And of course, deals are even better when you book far in advance.

Where Are the Australia Casino Hotels?

Australia is divided into provinces, with at least one casino hotel found in the major cities of the province, like Sydney, Australia.

The largest Australian casino hotel can be found in Melbourne, at the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex. The complex holds two hotels, in addition to the casino, as well as several nightclubs and restaurants, making it popular with a younger crowd. It is located off the river, making it a beautiful location.

Australian casino hotels can also be family friendly, like the Lasseters Hotel Casino of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, which offers a pool as well as a children’s menu in one of its three restaurants. It also has a variety of rooms and suites, large enough to accommodate a family.

Other than the excitement of the game tables, Australian casino hotels also offer other entertainment, like Conrad Jupiters Hotel of the Gold Coast. Conrad Jupiters is located in the middle of activities varying from golf to theme parks to nightlife.

Australia travel might take you to the capital city, Canberra, where the casino is small and does not have its own hotel, but you can arrange to stay in nearby hotels as part of a package the casino offers for your Australia travel.

Australia Casino Hotels: Just So You Know

If you have a favorite game or machine, it is a wise idea to check with the Australian casino hotel beforehand to make sure they have it. Most casinos offer all the classic table games as well as machines and some even offer new games.

Any cheap flight to Australia will allow a traveler to stay at a number of casino hotels. All of these offer many of the same amenities as traditional hotels, with the added bonus of the casino, for those who love to gamble while on vacation!

Australian Casino Vacations

Brilliant turquoise oceans, massive mountain ranges, leaping kangaroos and cuddly koalas are usually the first things that come to mind when one thinks about Australia. But the land down under has been gaining notoriety lately for being a great gambling hotspot, thanks in part to its luxurious casino hotels.

With casinos located in each of the continent's eight provinces, planning an Australia casino vacation is easier than ever. The only problem is determining which one of the beautiful Australia casino hotels you want to visit.

Planning an Australia Casino Vacation - The Casinos

An Australia casino vacation might see you visiting the Sofitel Reef Casino in Cairns, which is regarded as the finest boutique casino in Australia. Thanks to its unique dome construction, each of the 128 rooms offers guests breathtaking views of the city. The high-class nature of the five-star hotel and casino means that there is a (not overly strict) dress code to be followed on the casino game floor. The hotel has a Rainforest Dome, where many of Australia's indigenous animals can roam freely within the environment. Guests can even get up close and personal with them. Plus, the hotel has a boutique of fine shops where guests can shop till they drop and a terminal where you can leave to take day trips to the Great Barrier Reef and other attractions. Book a cheap flight to Australia, and get ready to place your bets.

The city of Darwin is home to the SkyCity hotel casino. This five-star boutique hotel offers the guest a luxurious and relaxing visit with all the amenities one expects from an AHA Award-winning hotel. With 117 lushly appointed rooms available in four different styles, SkyCity has accommodations suitable for every guest. You can also choose from an eclectic ensemble of dining choices, from the fine dining of Evoo and Dragon Court to the buffet-style fare at the Sunset Restaurant. The casino at SkyCity is a cohesive mix of traditional favorites and newer, progressive games where payouts are large and frequent.

The Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Hobart, Tasmania is Australia's original casino hotel, opened in 1973. Located on the gorgeous Derwent River, the Wrest Point Hotel Casino has 269 luxuriously appointed rooms that offer spectacular views of the river or the magnificent Mount Wellington. The hotel offers five dining establishments, including the romantic, visually stunning Point Revolving Restaurant where you get a bird's eye view of the surroundings while enjoying fine Australian cuisine. The casino game floor is home to some of the latest video gambling games and countless traditional table games and slots.

Star City Hotel and Casino, located on the Darling Harbor in Sydney, Australia, is one of the largest hotel casinos in the country. With 351 hotel rooms and 131 privately owned apartments, this is casino living on a massive scale! The complex is so large, that there are two gaming floors, seven restaurants and eight bars. There are also two theaters on the premises, the Lyric theatre and the Star Theatre. An ultimate entertainment center, the Star City always has something going on and for a moment, you may even forget that you're on an Australia casino vacation!

How to Get a Great Deal on an Australia Casino Vacation

Most Australia casinos offer package deals which include accommodations, restaurant vouchers and sometimes even tickets to a show or one of the nearby attractions. Before booking your Australia casino vacation, use the Internet to ensure that you're getting the best travel deal possible.

More information at Australian Casinos

 

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Business Travel; A casino operator's dream: potential gamblers who may be bored and are unable to walk away

(Credit: The New York Times)


It was a sure bet that gambling in the skies would be the next seat-side diversion in airline cabins, and now it is happening -- with computerized gambling scheduled to begin aboard Swissair's 16 MD-11's and 5 Boeing 747's by November. Two small carriers are also going for gambling: Debonair Airways, a London-based start-up carrier that wants its BA-146's to be "the Southwest Airlines of Europe," and Oasis International Airlines, a Madrid charter company that flies Airbus 310's to the Caribbean, South America and the Far East.

Naturally, it took a company based in Las Vegas, Nev., Interactive Flight Technologies Inc., to get in-flight gambling up and running. It has simply adapted what's already on the Strip, Fortunet's digitized games, to the confines of airline cabins. Thanks to digital technology, which eliminates tapes, the I.F.T. system also features video-on-demand with up to 60 selections, depending how many rental fees an airline wants to pay.

With I.F.T.'s touch-screen video, passengers will be able to play the slots, poker, blackjack, lotto, keno or bingo after one swipe of a credit card. There is a limit of $350, set by Visa and other card issuers, that a passenger can bet or lose, but winnings have no cap. What a gambler wins -- or loses -- shows up as charge card credits or debits.

The casino's earnings? In Swissair's case the earnings from bingo, keno and lotto -- the games it will offer passengers -- will go to the Swiss national lottery, which supports charities and cultural organizations.

High-flying gambling isn't as new as you might think. In the mid-1980's, for instance, there were chartered gambling flights between Melbourne, Australia, and Hobart, Tasmania's capital. These days you can play bingo on some flights operated by Colombia's Avianca. And Virgin Atlantic offers Nintendo betting games, but, as a spokesman, Richard d'Ambrosia emphasized, "for points, not money."

Initially, the new casinos aloft will be limited to foreign airlines. The Department of Transportation prohibits gambling on United States carriers, despite the boom in legalized gambling in many states. The department carries the fine print to the point where American carriers can't even allow gambling on international routes. It can also prevent a foreign carrier like Swissair from landing at United States airports if there's gambling on its trans-Atlantic flights.

"European and Asian airlines are excited about getting into gaming," said Steve Fieldman, I.F.T.'s vice president for business development. "Once those fastidious Swiss engineers have checked out our system, you don't need anymore due diligence."

Why is Oasis one of the pioneers? "After the Chinese," Mr. Fieldman said, "the Spanish are the biggest gamblers in Las Vegas."

The New Gnomes of Zurich

"The Swiss franc is killing us," said J. Philippe Jaussi, who was in New York last week to drum up business for his Hotel zum Storchen in Zurich. At the current exchange rate a room overlooking the Limmat River costs at least $260 a night. "Corporate travelers are so watchful about their expense accounts these days," Mr. Jaussi said. "They cover Zurich and Geneva in the same day just to save on hotel bills. Or they stay in Lucerne, where it's cheaper."

Does anybody visit Zurich just for pleasure? "They're not just looking at the Chagalls and Miros in the Kronenhalle Restaurant," he said, smiling. "They're all looking over their bank accounts or seeing their insurance companies. But it's a beautiful season now -- with the first white asparagus from Cavaillon in the Rhone Valley. It's on every Zurich menu."

Mr. Jaussi's 600-year-old building, originally a guild house, is rapidly adapting to the 1990's. "People are living on efficient time," he said. "So every room now has a plug for a modem. When a Westinghouse team stayed for four weeks, we installed an on-line computer system. They were always in touch with home base."

"You can call an AT&T number without a surcharge from the Storchen," he added. "Some hotels block wireless phones -- you can do that, you know. We don't. We discourage people from using cellulars in our dining room. But we don't mind if they're outside in the square phoning to get their call through."

Commuting Around China

"An hour into a three-hour flight I was taking in China in the early 1980's, the plane unexpectedly landed," recalled Milton Forman, president of Toltec Fabrics Inc. "The cabin attendant said it was lunchtime."

It's not that lax anymore. Although Air China's reservation computers still don't get things right every time, the Government carrier's 747's on the Shanghai-Beijing run, packed with business travelers, generally leave on time. And China's domestic air service is far safer than it used to be.

"I've taken four flights on China Northern this year, and they've all been good," said James L. Le Pere, a McDonnell Douglas executive, in Beijing's airport on his way home. "The six new regional carriers really compete with each other. One airline refused to buy a jet at the price negotiated by the Government -- it said it could do better."

But even with these capitalist improvements, there's still that sign in one of the Shanghai airport's waiting rooms: "Exit for Canceled Flights."

 

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