TOP THREE FINALISTS FOR NEW FRONTIERS AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Arabian Travel Market scheme honours destinations’ tourism development in ‘face of adversity’
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 7th April 2009: Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market 2009 - the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event running this May in Dubai, UAE – has announced China, Mumbai and Palestine as the top three finalists for the 2009 New Frontiers Awards.
Voted for by industry experts and professionals including global travel and tourism associations, the prestigious award is designed to recognise destinations that make an outstanding contribution to tourism development in the face of staggering adversity.
“It has been incredibly difficult to select just three destinations from the original ten as all have made great strides when the odds appeared stacked against them. However, the top three finalists should be noted for their incredible spirit and determination; it has proven to millions that no task is insurmountable,” said Mark Walsh, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The solidarity and unyielding spirit of the Chinese who hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics just three months after the Sichuan earthquake - which claimed nearly 70,000 lives, left 18,000 missing and destroyed the homes of 10 million people - undoubtedly warranted a place in the top three.
Mumbai also made the shortlist due to its exceptional resilience and positive contribution to tourism development in the aftermath of November 2008’s terrorist attacks. Despite the horrors endured across the city, the defiant response to terror ensured that Mumbai emerged triumphant with businesses remarkably operating as usual within a matter of days.
The series of strategic steps taken by India’s Tourism Ministry to boost the city’s tourism industry also ensured that the impact of the attacks was not as great as was originally feared – a fact evidenced by the 5.6 per cent annual growth of foreign tourist arrivals in 2008.
Palestine completed the trio of nominees for its unwavering determination in protecting cultural heritage and generating sustainable tourism initiatives despite the continuing political unrest that has affected the state for so long. Palestinian tourism authorities are on a mission to improve the destination’s image abroad by rebranding the State and restructuring the industry with the aim of making sure local communities benefit from tourism.
The three finalists were culled from a list which included the USA, which received two nominations for its efforts in dealing with Hurricane Ike and the Midwestern Floods, respectively; Myanmar, for its reaction to Cyclone Nargis; Yemen for the devastating 2008 floods; Tajikistan, a devastating cold wave and locust infection; Egypt for the Cairo landslides; and China for its reaction to severe flooding in the South and East of the country.
The winner will be announced during a special awards ceremony at the Arabian Travel Market’s annual exhibitors’ party, which will be held on 5 May 2008 at The Address, Burj Dubai. Representatives of the winning destination will be invited to attend the special ceremony and rewarded with $10,000 worth of free exhibition space at Arabian Travel Market 2010.
The online portal for Arabian Travel Market can be found at www.arabiantravelmarket.com. Signing up early will allow visitors to take advantage of extensive e-networking tools that will allow them to link up with the most relevant industry players to their business.
Arabian Travel Market is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.
Visitor registration for Arabian Travel Market 2009 can be done through the show’s dedicated website on www.arabiantravelmarket.com/registertoday