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Arabian Travel Market Honours California after wildfire devastation

Arabian Travel Market Honours California after wildfire devastation ( Arabian Travel Market gives New Frontiers Award 2008 to California for outstanding resilience and positive contribution to tourism development

Arabian Travel Market, the region’s premier travel and tourism exhibition, announced last night (Tuesday) that the state of California had been honoured with the New Frontiers Award 2008. The award was presented during the annual Arabian Travel Market exhibitors’ party at the Grand Hyatt Dubai for California’s remarkable recovery and positive contribution to tourism development in the face of adversity.

Tom Nutley, President, Reed Travel Exhibitions commented: “With considerable support from local state and federal government, the local residents of California made an indelible impact on tourism development.
“Fuelled by the Santa Ana winds, the bush fires that swept through the hot, dry state of California destroyed more than 1,600 homes with an estimated material damage of more than $1bn. Among the worst affected areas was around San Diego, where evacuation centres struggled to provide shelter for more than 300,000 people.
“Despite the disaster, the city continued to accommodate visitors, with many of its main attractions and business centres remaining in operation. Tourism is the third-largest industry in San Diego, with an annual spend of around $8.2 billion.”
Besides a commemorative crystal trophy, California also received a truly innovative reward of US$10,000 worth of complimentary exhibition space at Arabian Travel Market 2009.

Accepting the award on behalf of California was Patrick Wall, Principal Commercial Attaché, US Commercial Service, US Consulate General in Dubai, who said: “It is an honour for the state of California to receive this award for the way in which they bounced back. Participation in the Arabian Travel Market next year will help to educate the Middle East traveller to the vast diversity of tourism options California offers.”

California was selected by an eminent panel of judges including Tom Nutley, President, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Mark Walsh, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Walter Lo Faro, Director of Market Management, Middle East&Indian Ocean, Skal, the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals and Prem Patel, Senior Director ¬- Marketing, American Express Middle East.
Originally, ten destinations were chosen including Peru, Nicaragua, Greece and India, who had all made tremendous strides after suffering from either man-made or natural disasters.
California was selected after taking into consideration a number of decisive factors such as their utilisation of aid packages, support from local and national government, tangible efforts of recovery and the sheer determination of the human spirit.
Added Tom Nutley: “California has shown what can be possible when government, business and local communities all pull together with a common cause. We would now like to support their international marketing campaign and help their recovery still further, by offering exhibition space at Arabian Travel Market 2009.”

Photo caption: Patrick Wall, Principal Commercial Attaché, US Commercial Service, US Consulate General in Dubai receives the New Frontiers Award from Tom Nutley, President, Reed Travel Exhibitions (left), and Peter Fawn, Director Establishment Services Group, American Express (right).

Arabian Travel Market was launched in 1994, and the 2007 event welcomed over 23,000 travel industry professionals from 108 countries to its 14th event. Arabian Travel Market 2008 will be held from May 6-9 at the DICEC.

The event’s signature awards scheme, the New Frontiers Awards, will be staged for the third time in 2008. Presented to a destination that has made a remarkable recovery and positive contribution to tourism development in the face of the overwhelming adversity, the award, which is chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of regional and international industry professionals, is one of the show’s highlights.

Arabian Travel Market is part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio, which includes 15 of the world’s leading travel industry events. For more information visit

Reed Exhibitions, the world’s largest organiser of exhibitions and conferences, brings together over 90,000 suppliers and more than 5.5 million buyers from around the world every year generating billions of dollars in business. Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and are organised by 33 fully staffed offices.

Reed’s portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE 100 company, world-leading publisher and information provider, with revenues in excess of £4.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion) (2004).

For further press information, please visit the Reed Exhibitions’ website on

Sandra Diamond Director, Consumer & Healthcare Division Shamal Marketing Communications (SMC) PO Box 502701 Office 106 Al Sufouh Tower Dubai Media City Dubai, United Arab Emirates Direct: +971 3652709 Mobile: +971 50 4504317 Office: +971 4 3652711 Fax: +971 4 4278703 E-mail: Web site:

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