146: America’s Cup BCN + E McFerran +  Toyama + GreaterPalm Springs + MGTO  Free Transfer + PAS + Earth Day +EID +  Songkran + Nepalese New Year; 146-20240413

Issue 146, April 13, 2024New York, NYIssue 145, https://conta.cc/3U6bKmM
America’s Cup 2024 Barcelona
Are you ready to set sail on a thrilling adventure in the world of competitive sailing? Every four years, the most prestigious sailing clubs from around the globe gather to compete for the title of the fastest boat and crew on the seas. The America’s Cup, a billionaire’s playground, showcases cutting-edge technology, high-performance boats, skilled sailors, and top-notch infrastructure. Join us in the exhilarating journey of pushing the limits of sailing excellence!The Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup will take place between August and October 2024 in the beating heart of beautiful Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and one of the most visited cities on planet Earth. Situated around Port Vell and along the beach to Port Olímpic, the sailing world has made Barcelona their home for what promises to be one of the most intense America’s Cups in the event’s 174-year history.
America’s Cup Presentation
It was a special occasion where we celebrated Barcelona’s role as the host city for The America’s Cup, an esteemed sailing competition with a history as the oldest trophy in international sports. Barcelona was chosen as the venue for the competition because of its modern harbor and world-class sailing facilities, as well as its generally favorable climate for sailing from August to October.Presentations on the America’s Cup were made by the Barcelona Tourism, Catalan Tourist Board, and The Bicester Collection. Join the celebration and dive into the nautical world from August to October.
Passion for Travel & Exploration
Welcome to an exciting update from NY PATA! We are thrilled to celebrate Eric McFerran’s remarkable journey with us since 1969. From his early days as a sales rep for Air New Zealand to his present adventures as a travel advisor with MILNE Travel in Middlebury VT, Eric has been an integral part of our community. His recent escapades to Italy as group leader, participation in the PATA Travel Mart in New Delhi, and current presence at the cherry blossom festival in Japan truly showcase his passion for travel and exploration. Join us in congratulating Eric on his 55th anniversary as a member of the PATA New York chapter!
Toyama Prefecture, Japan
Famed for the World Heritage Gokayama villages and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Toyama is home to some of Japan’s most spectacular forests and waterways. Toyama is part of Japan’s snow country, stunning in winter when the thatched-roof houses of Gokayama conjure images of Lapland. The history that can be explored in Toyama is just as amazing as the seafood and local delicacies!Firefly squid normally live deep in the ocean, and release mysterious blue light in the dark. But every so often many of these creatures crowd into the shore of Toyama Bay, and their blue lights can be seen on the shore. The bay is known for the mirages on the horizon during the winter months and for being a spawning ground for the firefly squid. It is also one of Japan’s three largest bays. Parts of the bay are within the borders of the Noto Hantō Quasi-National Park.NTA photo: Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Greater Palm Springs Hospitality
Surrounded by four picturesque mountain ranges and long sought-after by travelers for its inspiring scenery and sense of adventure, Greater Palm Springs is Southern California’s most storied resort oasis. Greater Palm Springs encompasses nine cities — Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella — each offering its own blend of experiences. Delight your taste buds in Greater Palm Springs, where the culinary scene is nothing short of extraordinary. Oleg Nakonechny, Tourism Development Manager
“Saved by the Bell” was filmed on location at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.You won’t believe you’re in a desert when you find yourself among the streams, waterways and picturesque lake at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & SpaAndre Barragan, Senior Sales Executive
Hong Kong (HKG) to Macao (HZMB Port)MGTO Offers Free Transfer
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has launched a new free ticket offer for a direct bus service from Hong Kong International Airport to Macau. The offer was launched on the 1st of January and is designed to encourage visitors to HK to expand their visit to the neighboring region.The tourism authority has partnered with a bus service operator to offer a direct shuttle service from the airport that is available to all international and Taiwan visitors. Tickets are limited in quantity and available on a first-come, first-served basis.To avail, travelers are advised to proceed directly to the bus service counter upon arrival in Hong Kong where a free bus ticket will be issued after the presentation of travel documents and boarding passes. The route goes straight from the airport to Macau Port at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB).
Planet vs. Plastics
The theme for Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics,” which highlights EarthDay.org’s commitment to demanding a 60 percent reduction on the production of all plastics by 2040, the organization said. City officials began restricting traffic on streets for Earth Day in 2016. The event has since become an annual tradition where New Yorkers can bike or walk along streets that are normally cluttered with cars. Major areas where cars will be banned on April 20 between 10 am and 4 pm include Broadway in Manhattan from Union Square to Times Square. The agency will also host performances, art installations and other programming along some of the streets closed to traffic.“Car-free day is about celebrating Mother Earth,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said at a news conference. “We encourage all New Yorkers on this day and as many days as possible to leave their vehicles at home and opt to more sustainable modes of transportation like transit, biking or walking.”
Eid Mubarak!
May this Eid-ul-Fitr be a very blessed, joyous and memorable celebration for all.

Vibrant Festivities of Songkranand Nepalese New Year
The Thai new year, Songkran, is now celebrated in Thailand, Laos, and some other parts of Southeast Asia on April 13-15 according to the Western calendar. Songkran is a festival of purification, and its main feature is water-splashing. In fact, Songkran resembles a big, friendly, three-day water fight. Everyone carries a jar or basin of water and splashes everyone else whenever possible; to splash someone is to give that person a blessing. (Tourists quickly learn to keep their cameras in plastic bags.) Happy New Year!
In Nepal, the New Year isn’t just a once-a-year affair; it’s a celebration that occurs multiple times throughout the year! Locals get up to nine opportunities to usher in a fresh beginning with the festival of ‘Nava Varsha’ and other joyous occasions filled with parades, parties, family get-togethers, and of course, delicious food and drinks. Experience the vibrant and festive culture of Nepal with these numerous opportunities to start anew! Happy New Year! 

Elizabeth Chin, Executive Director, PATA New York Chapter