ATM New Frontiers Awards shortlist

Guest Writer

The Philippines, Australia and Italy have been shortlisted as the top three destinations in the final for Arabian Travel Market’s 2010 New Frontiers Awards.
The countries were nominated for their efforts in dealing with the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, the wildfires and floods in Australia and the earthquake in Italy.
Mark Walsh, Group Exhibitions Director, of Reed Travel Exhibitions - which organises Arabian Travel Market, said: “This year the selection process has been extremely difficult as we have seen many destinations overcome almost insurmountable hardships.”
The winner will be announced in a special ceremony at ATM’s opening press conference on 3 May at The Address Hotel Downtown Burj Dubai.
The scheme is designed to recognise destinations that make an outstanding contribution to tourism development.
The countries were voted for by industry experts and professional, including global travel and tourism associations in addition to members of the public.
The New Frontiers Awards finalists were voted for online.
The Philippines made the shortlist for its efforts following the devastating typhoon in September, in which a month’s worth of rain poured over the country over a few days. The aftermath saw considerable damage to the area, and many were left dead or homeless.
The National Economic and Development Authority helped the country get back onto its feet by offering a $145 million project aimed at rehabilitating infrastructure that was damaged by the typhoon. The Philippines Department of Tourism has also implemented a multi-faceted campaign with the objective of luring tourists back into the area, and 28 new tourism projects have been endorsed, which in total are worth $821 million.
Australia received its place in the short list for its position in dealing with the many disasters February 2009 brought with it. The initial 400 wildfires caused chaos, and killed over 400 people. Then came the flooding, which the Australian authorities had to deal with. The floods caused damage that was not affected by the fires, meaning further devastation to the country.
Under the patronage of Tourism Australia, the country was one of the better performing international tourism destinations of 2009, and is forecast to improve across all key segments this year. Namely, inbound travel is expected to increase by up to 4.3%, outbound travel to increase by 4.1% and domestic visitor nights to increase by 2.3%. Aviation within international and domestic segments are also expected to increase.
Italy made the short list after its devastating earthquake in April of this year. Hundreds were killed, and $2.5 billion worth of damage was caused. Cities were left flattened and the country’s tourism was affected immensely. Italy’s recovery efforts after the earthquake were commendable, and Italian tourist bodies implemented marketing efforts to focus on the country’s strengths, including fashion capital of the world, Milan, and its historic monuments. The G8 summit was also shifted to L’Acquila, which was the hardest hit area after the quake. This PR move highlighted both Italy’s stunning natural beauty and its relieved fears about its safety.

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