5 September 2011, Singapore – On September 11, 2001, four planes changed America, and the world forever as 19 of al-Qaeda’s men armed with small knives and boxcutters achieved a stunning blow against a global super power. Four passenger jets, AA 11, UA 175, AA 77 and UA 93, were hijacked on that fateful morning of which two were intentionally crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, and a third plane crashing in to the Pentagon. The fourth hijacked airliner did not make it to the Capitol Building or the White House because the passengers tried to take control of the plane. It crashed into a field near Shanksvile, Pennsylvania.
Over 2600 victims died in the World Trade Centre of whom 343 were firefighters, 60 were police officers and 8 were private emergency medical technicians and paramedics. 184 other people were killed in the attack on Pentagon. None of the passengers from the hijacked flights, mostly civilians from more than 70 countries, survived.
The world commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year. Check out National Geographic Channels programming on 9/11 this Sunday from 8pm as you get insights into this fateful day 10 years ago. The US Travel Association also shares the impact of 9/11 on the travel industry as well as principles for building a more secure and efficient U.S. Travel System. And find out what Lower Manhattan has been up to these days, as they try to promote business around ground zero.
National Geographic Channels
NGC will be premiering four programmes relating to 9/11 from 8pm (Singapore Time) on StarHub TV Ch 411.
Seconds from Disaster: 9/11 recounts with harrowing footage, scours the evidence and analyzes newly uncovered first-hand accounts to expose exactly why the world’s biggest and most expensive security network could not stop the hijackers. Hear from the FAA agents who tracked the rogue airliners in the minutes before impact and the military officers and F-16 pilots tasked with stopping them. Premiere Sunday, 11 September 8pm
9/11 and The American Dream brings us closer to the survivors and family members who lost loved ones on 9/11. Watch the touching first-hand accounts of people working in the World Trade Towers when the planes struck and those who continue to grive the loss of loved ones. Premiere Sunday, 11 September 9pm
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview opens a new window into his personal account, with never-before-released archival footage and exclusive materials directly from the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Premiere Sunday, 11 September 10pm
9/11: The War Continues – Tracking Down Bin Laden gives an exclusive, in-depth look at the war on terror, including the killing of Osama bin Laden by the American Special Forces. Premieres Sunday, 11 September, 11pm
Impact of 9/11 on Travel Industry
The U.S. Travel Association recently released principles for building a more secure and efficient U.S. Travel System. Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association discussed the impact of 9/11 on the travel industry in advance of the ten year anniversary in a call with journalists. The principles strike a balance between security and travel facilitations.
“The decade following 9/11 has seen significant changes in the way Americans, and those who visit America, travel,” said Dow. “We must continue keeping travelers safe with the highest level of security, but we must incorporate principles that improve facilitation and encourage travel.”
Dow also provided economic data since 9/11:
Since 9/11, international travel has represented a lost opportunity for the U.S. economy and American jobs. While global long-haul travel grew 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, overseas travel to the United States during this same timeframe rose just two percent. Despite more travelers worldwide, our slice of the pie shrunk, with U.S. market share of the global travel market dropping from 17 percent in 2000 to 12.4 percent in 2010. If America had simply kept pace with the growth in global long-haul international travel in the decade after 9/11, 78 million more travelers would have visited the United States, adding a total of $606 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 467,000 additional U.S. jobs annually.
The past decade has been difficult for business travel, with total volume declining 21 percent between 2000 and 2010. This was due to the immediate impact of 9/11 and by the meetings crisis in the late 2000s. Business travel returned to growth mode in 2010, increasing nearly 4 percent, and growth is expected through 2014, although at a much slower rate ranging from 1.2 percent to 1.7 percent annually. Leisure travel has been quite resilient in the decade since 9/11, with leisure travel volume increasing 17 percent since 2000, despite a few years of negative growth. This growth underscores the importance of travel to Americans. Slow but steady growth of about 2 percent annually is expected through 2014.
With the domestic economy again appearing to decelerate, attracting more international visitors to the United States and improving the TSA security experience will play an important role in creating job opportunities for Americans. Implementing the principles set forth today by the U.S. Travel Association will help make America more secure and competitive in the global marketplace.
Lower Manhattan and the City of New York
In June this year, the Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan global campaign to promote Lower Manhattan to visitors was launched to encourage visitors to stay, eat and shop in Lower Manhattan as well as to experience all the neighbourhood has to offer.
A new welcome programme at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 was launched in summer with colourful and vibrant posters, wall clings and column wraps showcasing imagery of the City with a particular emphasis on Lower Manhattan.
A social media initiative to promote the City’s attractions and events was also launched earlier by the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, NYC & Company reaching out to international consumers, journalists and the travel trade in nine of its international markets via customized, language-specific Facebook and Twitter feeds in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. ‘Follow’ and ‘Like’ the international Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn more.
After a dedication ceremony on September 11, the 9/11 Memorial will open to the public the day after. While World Trade Center construction continues, access to the Memorial will be managed through a free online timed reservation system at 911memorial.org. The 9/11 Memorial staff is taking major steps to help minimize the impact of charter tour buses on the Lower Manhattan community by working with the tourism industry to set up a Transportation Partners Program. Transportation Partners will offer alternatives to tour buses, such as ferries to Lower Manhattan and hop-on/hop-off buses, which will not require parking. Group visitors will be encouraged to use Transportation Partners to travel to the Memorial. Through the timed reservation system and the Transportation Partners Program, visitors can also plan itineraries that encourage them to experience other historic sites and attractions in Lower Manhattan.
Complete information on the Get More NYC: Lower Manhattan campaign can be accessed at nycgo.com/getmorenyc.
Since 2001, Lower Manhattan has experienced remarkable growth in the number of visitors and hospitality-related services. Nearly 20 hotels with an estimated 5,000 hotel rooms are located in the downtown area, and three new hotels with a total of 769 rooms will debut later this year. Several new hotels have already opened their doors in Lower Manhattan, including the World Center Hotel, Andaz Wall Street, W New York – Downtown and the DoubleTree by Hilton New York City–Financial District. In addition, dining establishments SHO Shaun Hergatt, The Libertine Restaurant, The Capital Grille Wall Street and luxury brands like Hermes have recently joined long-time Lower Manhattan businesses, such as Bayard’s, Adrienne’s Pizzabar, Cipriani Wall Street and the shops at South Street Seaport shops. Visitors who need help navigating Lower Manhattan can consult with Information Specialists at the Official NYC Information Kiosks in Chinatown and at City Hall Park.
Tourism to New York City’s five boroughs reached record levels in 2010, with 48.7 million visitors and $31 billion in visitor spending. New York City’s remain the number one destination in the U.S. for overseas travelers. NYC & Company remains on track to achieve Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of 50 million annual visitors by 2012. Tourism is the City’s fifth largest industry, supporting 320,000 jobs in the City’s hospitality and leisure sector.