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INTRODUCING UNPACK ’24: THE TRENDS IN TRAVEL FROM EXPEDIA, HOTELS.COM AND VRBO

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Pattaya, Paros and Perth Make the List of 2024 Destinations of the Year

Tour Tourism, Dry Tripping and Go-ccasions Among 2024 Leading Trip Types

Half of Travelers Expected to Adopt Generative AI in 2024

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Today, Expedia Group unveiled Unpack ’24, a comprehensive look at what’s motivating travelers and where they’re going next year. Based on the company’s unmatched first-party travel data, plus a global consumer survey of 20,000 travelers, Unpack ’24 includes eight new travel trends for 2024, from top destinations to what’s next in travel tech.

Experience the full interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/9179052-expedia-hotels-dot-com-vrbo-unpack-trends-in-travel/



“At Expedia Group, we have extensive first-party travel data that we use to enhance and curate experiences for our travelers across Expedia®, Hotels.com®, and Vrbo®. These insights shape our travel forecasts, revealed in Unpack ’24, enabling our travelers to be the first to discover and book the most desired trips before they become well-beaten paths,” said Jon Gieselman, President of Expedia Brands. “From ‘dry tripping’ to events like Taylor Swift or Beyoncé performances, and the rising allure of destinations like Perth, Palermo, and Paros, these trends begin to define the travel landscape in 2024.”

The 2024 Set-jetting ForecastFor 2023, Expedia predicted travelers would turn to television sets and movie screens for travel inspiration. They did, and the trend shows no signs of stopping in 2024. More than half of travelers say they’ve researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it on a TV show or movie, and 1 in 4 admit that TV shows and films are even more influential on their travel plans than they were before. In fact, travelers say TV shows influence their travel decisions more than Instagram, TikTok and podcasts.

Given the popularity of this travel trend, Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo compiled its first-ever Set-jetting Forecast predicting what entertainment-inspired destinations travelers will head to in 2024, based on upcoming show and film releases and travel data from Expedia Group.*

  • Thailand inspired by “The White Lotus” season 3.
  • Romania inspired by “Wednesday” season 2.
  • Malta inspired by the new “Gladiator 2” film.
  • Paris inspired by “Emily in Paris” season 4.
  • Scottish Highlands inspired by the remaining seasons of “Outlander.”
  • London, Bath and Windsor, UK inspired by the new season of “Bridgerton” and “The Crown” season 6.
  • Korea inspired by “Squid Game” season 2.
  • Florida Keys & Bahamas inspired by the new Apple TV show “Bad Monkey.”
  • Australia inspired by both Baz Luhrmann’s “Faraway Downs” and the Mad Max prequel “Furiosa.”
  • Greece inspired by new spy action thriller “Argylle.”

Expedia ‒ Destination Dupes: The “dupe” trend — affordable alternatives to popular products — that has flooded TikTok feeds is now taking over travel. Expedia’s 2024 destinations of the year are destination dupes — places that are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable, and every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true destinations travelers love.

The 2024 destination dupes all experienced a notable uptick in searches1 over the past year. In fact, global searches for the Top 5 destinations on the list more than doubled YoY.**

  • Taipei (dupe for Seoul)
  • Pattaya (dupe for Bangkok)
  • Paros (dupe for Santorini)
  • Curaçao (dupe for St. Martin)
  • Perth (dupe for Sydney)
  • Liverpool (dupe for London)
  • Palermo (dupe for Lisbon)
  • Quebec City (dupe for Geneva)
  • Sapporo (dupe for Zermatt)
  • Memphis (dupe for Nashville)

       Discover why these destination dupes are worth the trip in the Expedia Magazine.  

Expedia ‒ Tour Tourism: In 2023, the cultural impact of the Eras and Renaissance tours was undeniable, driving ticket sales but also travel and tourism. Expedia predicts that Tour Tourism will continue to thrive in 2024. Nearly 70% of survey respondents say they are more likely to travel to a concert outside their own town, with over 40% saying they’d travel for a concert as an excuse to visit a new place. In a new twist to Tour Tourism perhaps driven by ticket prices, 30% of travelers say they would travel outside of their home city for a concert because tickets were cheaper elsewhere. Unexpected places on Expedia’s list of top tour tourism destinations are Kuala Lumpur, Edmonton, and Mexico City. See the rest of the list in the Expedia Magazine, created by analyzing hot 2024 tour stops along with accommodation costs.***

Hotels.com ‒ Dry TrippingFrom observing Dry January to Sober October, it’s clear that living a low- or alcohol-free lifestyle is becoming more common. In addition to beverage brands and celebrities releasing nonalcoholic products, the travel industry is also catering to sober-curious travelers by stocking minibars with zero-proof options, or offering mocktail-making experiences. Explore top dry tripping hotel and resort recommendations in the Hotels.com Magazine.**** 

More than 40% of travelers say they are likely to book a detox trip in the next year, and half of travelers say they would be interested in staying at hotels that offer easily accessible alcohol-free beverage options. One in 4 say the top reason for drinking less on vacation is to stay in control and feel better emotionally and physically, and surprisingly, attending sporting events was the top reason travelers said they’d be likely to reduce alcohol consumption while traveling.

Hotels.com ‒ Vibe Check-inBeyond searching for specific amenities or star ratings, a hotel’s overall “vibe” is becoming a strong indicator of travelers’ hotel choices. Guest reviews mentioning the word “vibe” have increased an average of 1,090% YoY,2 and 9 out of 10 travelers say the vibe of a hotel is important when booking.

Travelers are seeking a variety of vibes when searching for hotels from “Modern Vibe” and “Industrial Vibe” to “Retro Vibe” or “Margaritaville Vibe.”***** What contributes to a hotel’s overall vibe? Travelers say the top element is customer service, which surpassed the music, interior or lighting of the hotel. Discover hotels with the most popular and unique vibes in the Hotels.com Magazine

Vrbo ‒ Go-ccasions: Puppymoons, First-date-iversaries, and Plate Dates are in the cards for travelers in 2024. One in 4 say they are looking for ‘any excuse’ to get away with their loved ones. With one-third of travelers planning to take more trips with family and friends next year than in 2023, they’re going all in on identifying occasions to book a getaway to a private vacation home to celebrate together.  

In addition to annual anniversaries and milestone birthdays, interestingly, work-related occasions are one of the most popular trip catalysts — many travelers would book a weekender to celebrate retirement, getting a new job, a promotion, or quitting a job.

Vrbo: Outside InWith pickleball becoming one of the fastest-growing sports, it’s no surprise that outdoor amenities, like pickleball courts and cold plunges, are dictating what private vacation homes families and friends are booking for group getaways. Survey data shows that 42% of travelers book vacation homes with amenities they either cannot afford to have at home, or that they want to try out before they buy themselves. Furthermore, nearly 30% say they would choose a vacation home with outdoor amenities, so they’d never have to leave the property.

The trending types of outdoor amenities travelers want:

  • Relaxation and rejuvenation: properties with a hot tub, cold plunge or barrel sauna.
  • Roaring fires: vacation homes with a fire pit, barbecue or outdoor kitchen.
  • Sports and recreation: properties that have amenities like ping-pong tables, padel tennis courts, pickleball courts and lawn games.
  • Fresh produce: vacation homes with access to fruit trees or a vegetable patch.

Visit the Vrbo Magazine to see private vacation homes that feature the trending outdoor amenities.

Gen Gen AIWhile generative AI tools like ChatGPT took center stage in 2023, only 6% of travelers used it to plan their trip.3  In 2024, Expedia Group predicts the “generation of generative AI” travelers will come of age and fully embrace this tech throughout their travel journey. In fact, survey data reveals that half of travelers are interested in using generative AI to plan their next trip, and 1 in 3 say it’s very useful when making travel plans.

What’s driving this trend? Generative AI’s ability to simplify planning and shopping through a conversation. Nearly 40% of travelers say they would use this tech to find the perfect stay, 35% would plan activities and things to do, 33% would compare flight options, and 20% of travelers would change or cancel their travel plans.

To further explore Unpack ’24, visit the Expedia Magazine and download the full report. Visit www.expedia.com/newsroom for more news from Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo.

Notes to the editor:

*Set-jetting stats:4

  • The first two seasons of “The White Lotus” drove a 300% increase in travel demand to Hawaii and Sicily.
  • Following the release of “Wednesday” on Netflix, Expedia saw a 150% increase in travel searches for Romania.
  • Expedia saw a 200% increase in searches to Paris after “Emily in Paris” debuted its previous season.
  • Searches for Richmond in London increased by 160% after season 2 of “Ted Lasso” aired, and they doubled after season 3 aired. U.S. fans accounted for 65% of searches, followed by Australians, Canadians, Brits and the Japanese.
  • Searches for Chicago increased by 45% following the first season of “The Bear.”
  • Searches for Norway increased by more than 65% after “Succession” aired its final season.

**Destination Dupe stats:

Percentage increase in flight searches YoY

  • Taipei (dupe for Seoul) – 2,786%
  • Pattaya (dupe for Bangkok) – 249%
  • Paros (dupe for Santorini) -193%
  • Curaçao (dupe for St. Martin) – 185%
  • Perth (dupe for Sydney) – 109%
  • Liverpool (dupe for London) – 97%
  • Palermo (dupe for Lisbon) – 89%
  • Quebec City (dupe for Geneva) – 60%
  • Sapporo (dupe for Zermatt) – 38%
  • Memphis (dupe for Nashville) – 16%

***Tour Tourism stats: Expedia analyzed the average daily rates for accommodations in cities around the world with major arenas and music venues that will host the world’s hottest pop and rock stars in 2024. Below are 10 affordable destinations where fans can snag a hotel room for less than $150/night on average — often less than the price of the concert ticket.5

Some big-name artists who will be stopping in those cities on tour next year include: Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Metallica, Olivia Rodrigo, the Jonas Brothers and the Foo Fighters.

Global List:

  • Kuala Lumpur – average hotel night $91
  • Edmonton, Canada – average hotel night $108
  • Mexico City, Mexico – average hotel night $119
  • Warsaw, Poland  average hotel night $119
  • Birmingham, UK – average hotel night $127
  • Houston, Texas – average hotel night $130
  • Antwerp, Belgium – average hotel night $140
  • Tokyo, Japan – average hotel night $147
  • Perth, Australia – average hotel night $148
  • Detroit, Michigan – average hotel night $149

****Dry Tripping hotels and resorts around the world:

  • Somerton Lodge, U.K. is a charming and dry hotel.
  • The Rhadana Kuta Bali is a thematic boutique hotel and the first certified halal hotel in Bali.
  • Revival Baltimore launched a local zero-proof cocktail program by a sober bar manager and mixologist.
  • The Merrion Hotel in Ireland “distills” its own nonalcoholic gin.
  • Ette Hotel in Orlando is home to stunning mocktails devised by a master mixologist and zero-proof bars.
  • The Rosewood Phuket offers a daily mocktail workshop for guests for a fee.
  • Wynn Las Vegas features “Drinking Well,” a zero-proof cocktail program developed by a master mixologist at the resort with innovative ingredients like reishi mushrooms, lion’s mane, ashwagandha and maca.

*****Vibe Check-in Stats

The top 15 vibes according to reviews on the Hotels.com app6: Modern, Retro, Old, Beach, Funky, Chill, Hip, Cozy, Vintage, Historic, Artsy, City, Industrial, Party and Peaceful.

The most unique vibes according to reviews on the Hotels.com app: Florida, Hollywood, Jungle, Tacky, Jazz, Camp, Margaritaville, Groovy, Yellowstone, Futuristic and Graceland.

About Expedia Group

Expedia Group, Inc. brands power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of three pillars: Expedia Product & Technology, focused on the group’s product and technical strategy and offerings; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem.

The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, Trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™. One Key™ is our comprehensive loyalty program that unifies Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo into one simple, flexible travel rewards experience. To enroll in One Key, download Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo mobile apps for free on iOS and Android devices.

For more information, visit www.expediagroup.com. Follow us on Twitter @expediagroup and check out our LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/expedia.

© 2023 Expedia, Inc., an Expedia Group company. All rights reserved. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. CST: 2029030-50

Follow www.expedia.com/newsroom for the latest news from Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo.

Follow Expedia on InstagramTikTokPinterestTwitter and YouTube.
Follow Hotels.com on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.
Follow Vrbo on FacebookInstagramTikTokPinterest, and Twitter.

Methodology

The research was conducted on behalf of Expedia Brands (Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo & Wotif) by OnePoll, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online from September 12–October 5, 2023, across North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The study was conducted among 20,000 respondents across 14 countries, among adults who are planning domestic or international travel in the next three years. OnePoll is an MRS (Market Research Society) Company Partner, has corporate membership of ESOMAR, and is a Member of the British Polling Council.

1 Based on global flight data on Expedia POS from Sept. 1, 2022 – Aug. 31, 2023
2 Based on hotel review data on Hotels.com between Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2022
3 Planes, Trains, and Large Language Models, NRG Thought Leadership Report – May 2023
4 Based on global search data on Expedia and Hotels.com for hotel stays for each show 90 days post-air date compared to the same dates the year before
5 Based on average daily rate for hotels on Expedia global POSa from 1 Sept. 2022 – 31 Aug. 2023
6 Based on hotel review data on Hotels.com between Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2022

SOURCE Expedia Group

Family

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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Kid-friendly crafts that bring loved ones together

(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.

While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.

Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Visit Culinary.net to find more Easter inspiration and recipes from “Cookin’ Savvy.”

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 can frosting
  • 1 bunny chocolate mold
  • 1 cakesicle mold
  • ice pop sticks
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
  • cake pop sticks
  • 1 bag orange melting chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bag green melting chips
  • pastel sprinkles
  • 1 piece hard foam (optional)
  • edible markers
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
  3. Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
  4. Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  5. In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
  6. Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
  7. Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
  8. When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Easter Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • assorted food coloring

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. To make icing: Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
  2. To make cookies: Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
  5. Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
  6. Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Fortune in Hong Kong

Unlock a perfect Year of the Dragon in 2024 with exclusive tips shared by feng shui master Mak Ling Ling

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TORONTO /CNW/ – 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. A legendary creature with the fantastic ability to roam the sky and sea, the dragon is regarded as the most prestigious entity of the 12-animal Chinese zodiac; its corresponding year holds a significant place in Chinese culture. As the Year of the Dragon signifies a positive outlook and dynamic, it is the best time to broaden your horizons through traveling. With this “Ultimate Guide to a Prosperous Year of the Dragon” curated by feng shui master Mak Ling Ling, you can effortlessly unlock a perfect new year while immersed in the festive bliss around Hong Kong!

With this “Ultimate Guide to a Prosperous Year of the Dragon” curated by feng shui master Mak Ling Ling, you can effortlessly unlock a perfect new year while immersed in the festive bliss around Hong Kong! (CNW Group/Hong Kong Tourism Board)

To pray for success in career and education

No Chinese New Year trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the temple! The city has many historic temples, including the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan. Widely regarded as a sanctum to pray for success in career and education, this declared monument remains one of the most popular attractions despite its relatively compact interior. Undoubtedly, its convenient location in the bustling tourist hotspot of Central and Sheung Wan has also contributed to its unwavering popularity. Man Mo Temple is dedicated primarily to the Civil God (god of literature) and the Martial God (god of martial arts): office workers who wish for career advancement can pray to the Civil God and touch the “Man Cheong Writing Brush” for good luck. At the same time, business owners can pay homage to the Martial God and touch his sword on the statue to pray for success. Students can bring their stationery and pencil case to the altar for academic achievement and let the deity bless the items to achieve better results. 

2. To pray for prosperity

Honouring Kwun Yum (the Goddess of Mercy) is the right way to pray for prosperity and happiness for the entire family. Among the numerous temples in Hong Kong dedicated to Kwun Yum, the one in Hung Hum is the largest and most famous in Kowloon. The 26th day of the first lunar month this year, March 6, is known as the “Kwun Yum Treasury Opening Festival” (the day that is believed when Kwun Yum opens her treasury and lends money to people). On this particular occasion, you will find worshippers flocking to this Grade 1 historic building and eagerly queueing up in front of the temple starting at midnight, all hoping for wealth that is symbolized by the “money” (an imaginary loaned amount written on a red paper note) they can borrow from the Goddess. Even on days other than the “Treasury Opening Festival,” tourists can still visit this historical temple to pray for the Kwun Yum’s blessing on fertility, love life and health.

3. To pray for health and smooth sailing

With nearly 300 years of history, Hau Wong Temple in Kowloon City is favoured by worshippers who wish for good health. The temple is especially packed during the Hau Wong Festival, which falls on the 16th day of the sixth lunar month. Apart from the main deity of Hau Wong, the temple also houses Tai Sui, the 60 deities in charge of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs combined with the five elements of Chinese astrology. Every year, Chinese zodiac signs are considered “fan Tai Sui” (clash with that year’s ruling deity), and people with those signs are at risk of bad luck. For the Year of the Dragon, the “unlucky” signs include Dragon, Dog, Rabbit and Ox. If you were born in one of these years, you may appease the ruling deity by performing a “sip Tai Sui” ritual, which involves writing your name and date of birth on a “Tai Sui yi” (joss paper), followed by offering incense sticks to the Tai Sui deities, praying to be protected against adversity in the year ahead.

4. To pray for perfection and fruitfulness

Renowned for its supposed ability to make worshippers’ requests come true, Wong Tai Sin Temple is the ideal place to pray for a perfect Year of the Dragon. During Chinese New Year, the festively adorned temple is home to one of the city’s most significant traditions – the first incense offering. Locals believe those who enter the temple first and burn the inaugural incense sticks will receive the biggest blessings. Thus, crowds of worshippers gather at the temple around midnight on Chinese New Year’s Day to participate in a sacred running race. While the first place may be quite challenging, you can still burn incense sticks at Wong Tai Sin Temple any day during Chinese New Year to pray for a propitious Year of the Dragon. 

Wong Tai Sin Temple also houses the statue of Yuelao, the deity in charge of love and marriage. Believers who long for a breakthrough in their love life can make a wish by offering flowers and fruits to the Statues of Yuelao, flanked by the statues of Couples named mythical lovers “Golden Boy” and “Jade Maiden.” Legend has it that Yuelao will tie a red thread on the feet of couples destined for marriage, so after making your wish to Yuelao, don’t forget to conclude the ritual by touching the feet of either “Golden Boy” or “Jade Maiden”!

5. Good fortune galore

If you want to boost your luck during the Chinese New Year trip in Hong Kong, make a beeline for Che Kung Temple! On the third day of the Chinese New Year, droves of worshippers crowd the iconic temple, whose signature feature is the copper fan-bladed wheel of fortune. Even though Che Kung Festival falls on the second day of the Chinese New Year, many locals prefer to visit the temple on the third day instead as it is believed to be a day when people are prone to quarrel, so they opt to visit the temple to avoid meeting friends or family on this conflict-prone day.

There are specific rituals to pray for good luck at Che Kung Temple. Upon entering the temple, beat the drum three times before spinning the fan-bladed wheel of fortune. If you had an excellent previous year, spin the wheel clockwise to keep the upward trend; otherwise, spin the wheel counterclockwise to “spin away” the misfortune. Before you go, take a pinwheel home and place it at this year’s auspicious position on the southwest or northeast for an extra boost of luck!

In the art of feng shui, it is believed that the prosperity of a place is connected with its mountain and water, so a stroll in nature during the first lunar month is considered a promising way to kick off the new year. To embrace the beauty of Hong Kong’s majestic mountain and water landscape, hop on the Peak Tram at Central for a bird’s eye view of the Victoria Harbour, or visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, followed by a charming stroll in the “Venice of Hong Kong” – Tai O fishing village, which is just a 30-minute ride away.

Another fascinating place where you can tap into nature’s spiritual energy is Tai Tam Reservoirs. This declared monument is renowned for its magnificent dams and hundred-year-old masonry bridges, which can be admired along an easy hiking trail sprinkled with picture-perfect spots.

Hong Kong has many attractions waiting to be explored this Chinese New Year. Take action now for planning your trip to Hong Kong. Don’t miss out on the festivities and temple-hopping itineraries to usher in good fortune for the Year of the Dragon!

SOURCE Hong Kong Tourism Board

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Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright

Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.

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A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.

The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.

The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.

However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.

In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.

This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.

https://patch.com/california/sanrafael/ca-has-3-10-healthiest-counties-u-s-new-study-says

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