139: Shaanxi C/T + The Silk Road +   Air Travel + Hindu Temple+ UN Sustainable &  Resilient Tourism 2027 + LNY Invite;139-20240301

Issue 139, March 1, 2024New York, NYIssue 138, https://conta.cc/42VimaI
Shaanxi Culture and Tourism
At an event promoting culture and tourism for China’s Shaanxi Province on Tuesday, Du Jin’gen, deputy director of the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, extended a warm invitation to U.S. tourists and leaders in the tourism industry to explore the wonders of Shaanxi. 
Terry Dale, president & CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association, said “Today, we celebrate the Year of Dragon. The dragon creates a bond that transcends culture and borders and represents strength and mission, goodwill, and all the things that we represent in the tourism industry. This particular year is special for us to celebrate.”Terry said tourism helps build bridges and promote people-to-people exchanges, bearing the responsibility of bringing people together. “It helps foster compassion and recognition that we are the same. We’re all humans.”
US-China Tourism Leadership Summit
“If China returned to 2019 U.S. tourism levels, it would add $30 billion to the U.S. economy and 50,000 U.S. jobs,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in August, 2023. She wants to boost travel and tourism between the two countries. 
The 14th US-China Tourism Leadership Summit is scheduled to be held in Xian, Shaanxi province in May 2024. This summit creates a platform to convene leaders from both countries to build and strengthen relationships between the U.S. and Chinese governments and travel industries. The program is designed to foster reciprocal understanding by educating U.S. and Chinese delegates about the current challenges, emerging trends, and avenues for growth within the travel and tourism industry.

What a great and well attended event organized by PATA New York and the Department of Culture and Tourism of Shaanxi Province, China. The event in NYC tonight created lots of buzz and many well received tips and ideas for leisure travel to China.Judith Kolakowski, SVP Commercial US/CA/Central Europe, AirlinePros

The Silk Road – Xian to Rome
In 1990, only five percent of Americans had a passport. Today, that number is 48%. More Americans can travel abroad now than at any time in our history. There are now over 160 million valid U.S. passports in circulation (nearly double the amount from 2007).
New Jersey boasts the highest percentage of passport holders (68%); Delaware (67%), Alaska (65%), Massachusetts (63%), New York (62%), and California (60%) are close behind.
The world’s most powerful passports—Japan, Spain, Singapore, France, Germany, and Italy. All six countries’ passport holders can travel to a whopping 194 destinations, visa-free.
US-China Transpacific Air Travel
Starting on March 31, Chinese passenger airlines will be allowed 50 weekly round-trip U.S. flights returning the market to about one-third of pre-pandemic levels. It is a significant step forward in further normalization of the US-China flight market in anticipation of the summer 2024 season.
China has simplified visa applications for tourists from the United States, cutting the number of documents required, and has offered a discount on new visa applications.
More than 150 weekly round-trip passenger flights were allowed by each side before restrictions were imposed in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but until August 2023, Chinese and U.S. carriers could each fly only 12 a week between the two countries. The number rose on September 1st to 18 weekly round-trips and then to 24 per week starting October 29. The USDOT approved 35 for Chinese carriers in November.
NY PATA Visits the AkshardhamLargest Hindu Temple in the United States
Second Largest Hindu Temple in the WorldHindu Architecture and Culture
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, NJ is an amazing 213 foot, traditionally stone-carved Hindu mandir and 183-acre cultural complex in the heart of New Jersey. Built by over 12,500 volunteers from across the United States, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham is the largest Hindu temple in the U.S. A mandir is a Hindu house of worship, however, this mandir complex is open to visitors from all ages and backgrounds interested in enjoying the intricate architecture, gardens, inspirational messages, vast plaza, or even enjoy the other facilities within the complex, such as Shayona Cafe and Akshardham store. This can be an easy and memorable stop for your groups on their way to DC, NYC, or Philadelphia.No photos allowed in the temple.
2027 Year of Sustainable & Resilient Tourism
The United Nations declares 2027 the International Year of Sustainable and Resilient Tourism, recognising the role tourism must play in building a better world for all.
Resiliency in tourism supports the well-being and sustainability of the environment, the industry itself, and the communities and people involved. PATA is committed to supporting this mission through a series of initiatives partnering with our industry alliances and a number of open resources for tourism stakeholders to start their sustainability and resilience journey.
With traffic from over 150 countries, PATA’s Tourism Destination Resilience Programme, including online courses, tool kits, and in-person workshops, has seen tremendous success since its inception in 2021. Over 350 individuals have undergone intensive training, and our workshops have garnered over 31K views worldwide!
Join us in fostering resilient and sustainable development. Explore the TDR Resources now: src.pata.org/tourism-destination-resilience/
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Elizabeth Chin, Executive Director, PATA New York
elizabethnypata@gmail.com | https://newyorkpata.org