Press Releases (American Region)

Accra, Bangkok, Beijing, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore
to Receive Bundles of Holiday Cheer
More than 400 Santas to Break World Records by
Concurrently Caroling Around the Globe on December 3!
El Segundo, CA; October 27, 2003 — This December, more than 400 volunteers dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus will travel to various parts of the globe this winter on a mission of love: these Santa's helpers, organized by Japan Airlines, and comprised of North American members of the TelecomPioneers and Kiwanis International volunteer organizations, are paying their own way to travel to Accra (Ghana), Bangkok, Beijing, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore to deliver a timely message of global goodwill and peace to all. The American participants are being supported by an impressive array of global agencies working together to spread the spirit of American volunteerism, including: Japan Airlines; China National Tourist Office; Hong Kong Tourism Board; the Singapore Tourism Board; Tourism Authority of Thailand; the China World Hotel, Beijing; the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong; the Meritus Mandarin Hotel, Singapore; the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok and the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo.

The volunteers will gather together on December 3 to sing festive holiday songs in a carol heard around the globe: 140 will sing in Beijing (8 p.m. local time); 60 in Hong Kong (8 p.m. local time); 60 in Singapore (8 p.m. local time); 110 in Bangkok (7 p.m. local time); 40 in Dublin (12 noon local time); and 25 in Ghana (12 noon local time). Event organizers believe that this may break world records for the most Santas caroling at the same time!

The Santa volunteers are comprised of members of TelecomPioneers, the largest industry related volunteer organization in the world, and Kiwanis International, which boasts 290,000 members in 89 countries. The traveling Santas, dressed up in festive seasonal attire, visit agencies for orphans, the needy, the aged, and the mentally and physically challenged in each country. They come bearing small gifts, such as candies, postcards and homemade crafts, and share festive holiday songs to their welcoming audiences. The volunteers lead activities to demonstrate the North American concept of volunteerism to the rest of the world. While in each country, the American Santa brigade will also make visits to public places, such as the Orchard Road shopping district of Singapore and the Malahide Castle in Dublin, to delight children of all ages with messages of holiday cheer.

InConTra, Inc., a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, has been organizing Santa Goodwill Tours since 1985. In the first year, more than 450 participants traveled to Tokyo. Since then, Santas have appeared on a Yangtze River Cruise and in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bali, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cairo, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Milan, Venice, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Switzerland, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg, London and Edinburgh.

"In this time of global tension, the American people are eager to show their best face to other citizens of the world," says Roxan Chen, general manager of InConTra, Inc., "and what better face than that of Santa Claus, the ultimate icon of goodwill and festive cheer."

Chen continues, "Our participants have made it quite clear to us that they find it especially important to spread the message that it is safe for Americans to travel to the Far East after the World Health OrganizationÕs announcement in July that SARS in Asia has been completely contained."

TelecomPioneers, participants in the Santa Goodwill tours since the program's inception in 1985, is the largest industry related volunteer organization in the world, with chapters located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1911, TelecomPioneers is comprised of nearly 750,000 current and retired telecommunications employees who have joined together to make their communities better places in which to live and work. In 2002-2003, TelecomPioneers contributed the equivalent of $52.5 million in volunteer services to their communities.

Kiwanis International includes 8,400 Kiwanis clubs with 290,000 members in 89 nations. Last year, Kiwanis clubs donated more than $100 million and six million volunteer hours to community service projects. The Kiwanis family of service also includes Circle K clubs for collegians, Key Clubs for high school students, Builders Clubs for junior high and middle school students, K-Kids for elementary school students and Aktion Clubs for mentally disabled adults. Altogether, the Kiwanis service family numbers almost 600,000 adult and youth volunteers. For more information, visit

Japan Airlines, Asia's largest airline, has been a generous supporter of the Santa Goodwill Tours since the programÕs inception in 1985. Over the last 18 years, JAL has helped transport thousands of volunteers from its seven U.S. gateways to cities throughout Asia in an effort to carry out the group's mission of bringing joy to those less fortunate. Japan Airlines operates the world's largest fleet of B-747s and serves 177 destinations in 30 countries. The company's American Region headquarter office is based in El Segundo, CA. For more information, call 1-800-525-FONE (3663) or visit

China, which draws millions of visitors from around the world, is forever linked to its ancient civilizations, friendly people and many of the world's most revered treasures, such as The Great Wall, Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses and the Yangtze River. Today, one can also find spectacular architecture and towering skyscrapers in Shanghai and Beijing (site of the 2008 Summer Olympics), a wealth of luxury accommodations – and as always – exquisite cuisine. For more information, call 1-212-760-8218 (New York) or 1-818-545-7507 (Calfornia), or visit

Hong Kong is a dazzling, vibrant city with a unique blend of old and new, East and West. Visitors can indulge in shopping, from swank malls to classic open-air markets in Asia's world city; savor delicious international and regional cuisine or taste wonderful local delicacies; open their senses to Hong Kong's amazing skyline; sail across the harbor or climb a mountain for a stunning view. Travelers from around the world are invited to come fall in love with the diversity and sophistication that is truly Hong Kong. For more information, call 1-800-282-HKTB (4582) or visit

Singapore tempts the international traveler with year-round tropical weather; faithfully restored historic districts; a diverse culinary scene featuring Chinese, Indian, Malay and other ethnic specialties; choice of luxury hotels on a par with the best in the world; a reputation as a shoppersÕ paradise; and other advantages such as competitive pricing, excellent infrastructure, high-quality service, cultural diversity and a people-friendly, cosmopolitan setting. For more information, contact the Singapore Tourism Board in New York at (212) 302-4861 or via email at; in Los Angeles at (323) 677-0808 or via email at Travelers can also visit the website at

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) promotes "Amazing Thailand" as a world-class destination offering unique, quality travel experiences. The gateway to Southeast Asia, Thailand offers visitors a rich tapestry of exotic architecture, culture, cuisine, traditions, exciting adventures, and a wealth of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. For more information, call 1-800-THAILAND (LA office); 212-432-0433 (New York office); email; or visit the Web site at

China World Hotel, Beijing; Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong; and Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok are part of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the largest Asian-based luxury hotel group in the region with more than 20,000 rooms. Its 41 properties are located in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit

The Meritus Mandarin Singapore, a 2001 and 2002 Condé Nast gold list hotel, invites visitors to experience the pinnacle of Asian hospitality and Western luxury. The hotel, which aims to make guests feel right at home, features indulgent décor, spacious guest rooms, tantalizing international cuisine and attentive staff. For more information, visit, call 805-498-2185 or 011 65 6737 4411.

For 113 years, The Imperial Hotel has welcomed western technologies, businesses, diplomats and cultures to Japan. Designed in part by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Imperial Hotel is a landmark in Tokyo and is known for highest level of fine cuisine, service and Japanese hospitality. For more information, visit or call 011 81 3 3504 1111.
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