ATM names New Frontiers Award nominees
Dubai, April 4, 2012
Leading travel exhibition, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has released the names of destinations nominated for this year’s New Frontiers Award, the results of which will be revealed at a special ceremony at this year’s event in Dubai.
Mark Walsh, portfolio director, ATM, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said: “Making the shortlist for 2012 are Australia, Brazil and Japan, all of which suffered devastating natural catastrophes over the last 12 months.”
“Natural disasters occurred on an unprecedented scale across the globe in 2011, causing billions of dollars of damage, significant loss of life and economic challenges impacting every sector, with the tourism industry a major casualty,” he said. “Some of the world’s most popular destinations have seen inbound tourism grind to a halt, with tourism receipts as well as the livelihoods of industry professionals adversely affected at every level, from government tourist boards to local tour guides.”
“These devastated regions have to not only clean up and rebuild their communities, but also re-evaluate their strategies – and funding – and embark on comprehensive international marketing campaigns to re-establish market confidence and drive tourist traffic,” Walsh added.
He said the New Frontiers Award is a contribution to accelerating that process at a critical point in the recovery process, assisting in the creation of positive awareness and highlighting ongoing efforts to rebuild a vital sector of the economy to industry peers during the Arabian Travel Market week
Australia recovering from the aftermath of a series of devastating floods that began in late 2010 and continued into Q1 2011, with Queensland, and its capital Brisbane, worst affected. The floods forced the evacuation of approximately 200,000 people from more than 70 towns and cities, with the resulting damage estimated at over $1 billion, and the country’s GDP left reeling from a $30 billion hit.
A relief fund was established, the Australian Defence Force mobilised and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority was formed to co-ordinate the long-term rebuilding programme.
In the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, a series of floods and mudslides in January 2011 caused significant loss of life and livelihood across the mountain province of Região Serrana, located 100km away from the country’s 2016 Olympic city site, as well as in the other south-eastern states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo.
With economic losses estimated at, and international concerns about the mid-term impact on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, decisive action on the part of the government saw $466 million immediately allocated to reconstruction projects and on-the ground teams with experience in Haiti, supporting local municipal government efforts.
In Japan, the March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the eastern coast of the country with cataclysmic force and waves of up to 40.5 m, travelled 10 km inland across 18 prefectures causing massive loss of life, the destruction of over 125,000 homes and businesses and three nuclear reactor meltdowns.
In addition to significant international aid, Japan’s government has allocated $167 billion over five years as part of a phased recovery plan.
Last year, Chile received the New Frontiers Award in recognition of its efforts to rebuild its shattered post-2010 earthquake tourism industry, which saw 80 per cent of the population, as well as the entire economy, affected.
Launched in 2005 by Arabian Travel Market, The New Frontiers Award was created to recognise outstanding contributions to tourism development in the face of overwhelming adversity, helping the chosen destination by donating exhibition space at the event to the value of $10,000. – TradeArabia News Service
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