Issue 107, September 27, 2023

New York, NY

Digitalization - Innovation - Resilience - Sustainability

World Tourism Day 2023

PATA CEO, Noor Ahmad Hamid

PATA is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Noor Ahmad Hamid as its new Chief Executive Officer, starting Oct 1, 2023! Noor's appointment for a three-year term will usher in a new era for PATA.

A Malaysian citizen, Noor has had a distinguished 35 years career in travel & tourism, including the last 13 years specialising in the critical Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. In 2022, he was inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders, the most prestigious award in the global business events industry, the only Asian recipient alongside distinguished professionals from America and Europe.

Noor's inaugural engagement as CEO will be at the prestigious PATA Travel Mart, scheduled from October 4 to 6 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. He looks forward to connecting with host destination officials and members, chapter and youth leaders, exhibitors and buyers, partners, members of the media, and the entire travel and tourism community.

Learn more about the appointment:

PATA New York Chapter

In 1953 PATA's headquarters were moved from Hawaii to San Francisco, with Sam Mercer serving as the first executive director. Considered as the state of “money and influence”, San Francisco was home to an influential group of individuals who served on the PATA board and committees during the 1950s and 1960s.

1961 saw the establishment of the first PATA Chapters in New Zealand and Hong Kong. NY PATA was founded in 1962. Simone Bassous served as the first executive director from the 1980’s until her retirement in 2019.

The end of the decade – 1998 – saw PATA relocated its head office from San Francisco to Bangkok to be in the heart of its membership region.

PATA New York 61st Anniversary

Hello Joebert,

This was my first experience to attend one of these events organized by you and your team.

It was fortunate that my trip was postponed, so I could join you.

You are a consummate host. Friendly, Attentive, and with a natural gift to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

Once again my sincere applause for leading the chapter to greater heights, and making it “First among Equals”

Please continue to move forward and upward.

You will always have my good wishes and support.

My regards to you and your remarkable team.

Warm regards,

Tiru Irani, President

Far Horizons


Video and Photos by Iris Salazar

Hangzhou Asian Games 2023

Hangzhou, the host city of the #AsianGames, is famed for its beautiful West Lake filled with lotuses. Two stadiums for the Games have drawn on this beauty, using unfolding lotus petals as inspiration, an amazing blend of natural beauty and architecture.

The 19th Asian Games will take place between September 23 and October 8, featuring a total of 40 sports. It will be the third Asian Games to be hosted in China, after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010.


September 23rd is the Autumn Equinox, known as Qiufen on the Chinese lunar calendar. On this day of harvest and reunion, the cauldron of the Asian Games will light up again in China. The opening ceremony will feature no traditional fireworks performance under the green philosophy in hosting the event. New technologies will be used instead to ensure the same visual feast for audiences on-site and online, the director Sha Xiaolan said.

China is ready to deliver to the world a great event that is distinctly Chinese, uniquely Asian and spectacular and to make new contribution to the Olympic movement in Asia and the world.

Air Travel Trends

Foreign tourist arrivals to India have risen by 166% in 2023 compared to last year (Skift, 2023). PATA's latest 2023-2025 destination forecast for India indicated that Asia and Europe will be the two biggest source regions occupying nearly 70% of all int'l arrivals.

Starting 28 October 2023, United Airlines’ daily service from Newark to New Delhi will become double to meet the nonstop US-India travel demand this winter. American Airlines and Air India operate nonstop flights to Delhi from JFK city airport (John F. Kennedy).

A fierce competition between the three carriers is highly anticipated to influence their pricing strategy for international flight tickets to India from USA.

Domestic travel bookings in China continued to exceed pre-pandemic levels during 2023’s summer season while overseas bookings also increased. International destinations within a four-hour flight of major Chinese cities were trending this summer, and the top ten cities overseas with the highest booking volume are all located within this radius.

United Airlines welcomes you back to China with daily direct flights from San Francisco (SFO)! Not only are they increasing their service to Shanghai (PVG) from 4 flights weekly to daily, but they will also be the only U.S. airline flying to Beijing (PEK) starting in October.

Asia Pacific is expected to regain the top spot as the world's largest regional travel market by 2025, with North America; West Europe; and East Europe as three of the top five sources of arrivals (PATA, 2023; Phocuswright, 2023)

Mid-Autumn Festival

Korean Chuseok

Considered Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok, also known as Hangawi, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar on the full moon which generally comes during either September or October and like many other harvest festivals around the world, it is held around the autumn equinox. This year, Chuseok 2023 falls on September 29th (Friday) but the three-day holiday will take place from September 28th to 30th.

Chuseok is celebrated with a wide array of delicious foods from bulgogi and bibimbap to japchae and songpyeon.

As a celebration of the good harvest, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of Korean traditional food such as songpyeon and rice wines such as sindoju and dongdongju.

Mooncake Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is widely celebrated in Chinese culture. It is a traditional Chinese festival that is celebrated in China and in parts of Southeast Asia. Japan and Korea have similar holidays as well. It is also celebrated in places where there is a significant number of people of Chinese heritage, particularly in New York City.

It is a festival where people moon gaze, give thanks to the divinity, celebrate a bountiful harvest, and reunite with family.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake festival, is the second-largest holiday in China after the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year it is on Friday, the 29th of September.

Elizabeth Chin

Executive Director

PATA New York

Pacific Asia Travel Assn (PATA)

Editor, NY PATA News