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China, Mumbai, and Palestine lead New Frontiers Awards nominations

( DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Reed Travel Exhibitions, the company behind Arabian Travel Market - the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism event running this May in Dubai, UAE – has announced the top 10 finalists for the 2009 New Frontiers Awards, a scheme recognizing destinations that make an outstanding contribution to tourism development in the face of overwhelming adversity.

China’s recovery efforts in the wake of the “Great Sichuan Earthquake” ensures it leads this year’s nominations. Measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, the May 12 mega-quake devastated the country’s Sichuan province, killing at least 69,000 only three months before the superpower hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Other front-runners include Mumbai for its resilience against November 2008’s terrorist attacks, and Palestine for its continuing tourism efforts amid ongoing political strife.

Countries responses to catastrophic natural disasters resulted in the remaining seven nominations; the USA received two for its efforts in dealing with Hurricane Ike - the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States – and the midwestern floods, respectively.

Myanmar was recognized for its reaction to Cyclone Nargis - the worst natural disaster in the country’s history which killed 146,000 people. Unseasonal flooding in Yemen - which left 20,000-25,000 homeless - saw the Arab nation nominated, while Tajikistan (a devastating cold wave and locust infection), Egypt (the Cairo landslides), and China (severe flooding in the south and east of the country) complete the ten candidates.

“This year, we have seen some terrible disasters and the New Frontiers Awards continue to recognize those destinations around the world that have achieved the impossible despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Our nominees are not only countries and cities that have survived the worst large-scale tragedies imaginable, but they have all managed to expand their tourism propositions even in the face of such overwhelming challeneges,” said Mark Walsh, group exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

The final three nominations will be decided in the next month by a panel of judges from global travel and tourism associations. The winner will be announced during a special awards ceremony at the Arabian Travel Market’s annual exhibitors’ party, which will be held on May 5, 2008 at The Address, Burj Dubai. Representatives of the winning destination will be invited to attend the special ceremony and rewarded with US$10,000 worth of free exhibition space at Arabian Travel Market 2010.

To date, more than 400 exhibitors representing 62 countries have signed up for Arabian Travel Market 2009, which is running at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 5-8. In addition, the exhibition has seen steady overall space uptake by nearly 60 national tourist bodies representing six continents, including new-to-market showings from Mozambique, Philippines, Ecuador, and Slovenia.

Arabian Travel Market 2009 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 & Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.

Visitor registration for Arabian Travel Market 2009 can be done through the show’s dedicated website on

For further information: Sam Dulka, MCS/Action, Dubai, UAE; Tel: + 971 4 390 2960; Fax: +9714 390 8161; Email: href=""> or visit the show online at:

About Arabian Travel Market:

Arabian Travel Market was launched in 1994, and the 2008 event – which marked the show’s 15th anniversary – opened with its largest ever exhibitor base of 2,229 participants from 70 countries.

In addition, floorspace bookings from international representatives in Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa had grown by 10 percent, with Middle East companies increasing their allocation by five percent.

The 2008 show also boasted close to 90 new-to-market exhibitors, as well as increased space uptake from over 62 national tourist bodies with products and services representing 70 countries, including show debutants Bangladesh, The Philippines, Djibouti, Georgia, Senegal, and Nepal.

The event’s signature awards scheme, the New Frontiers Awards, will be staged for the fourth time in 2009. 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 a 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

The Address Hotel & Resorts - which incorporates four properties: The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai; The Address, Dubai Mall; The Address, Dubai Marina and The Palace, The Old Town - is the official accommodation provider for Arabian Travel Market 2009’s Hosted Buyers program and attending international press.

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

Dina Fouad
Phone: 00971507810654

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