Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has revealed the 2016 shortlist for its annual New Frontiers Recovery Awards, with three Asian nations nominated for this year’s award, which will be announced on Thursday 28th April during ATM.
The shortlisted destinations Nepal, the Philippines and Taiwan have all been recognized for dealing with the dual impact of significant human and economic losses in the last 12 months due to devastating natural catastrophes, their effect on local tourism and their remarkable efforts to recover.
“The last year has not only been the hottest on record, weather and climate-related disasters dominating headlines, but has also seen a doubling in the number of recorded fatalities on 2014 figures,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.
“And, although the economic impact of these incidences has declined from US$42 billion in 2014 to US$35 billion in 2015, it is still a devastating blow to those nations where reliance on the tourism dollar is linked not only to economic growth but also to the fulfillment of the most basic daily needs of local people for whom a job in the tourism industry means food on the table and a future for their family,” she added.
The New Frontiers Recovery Award was created in 2005 to recognize outstanding contributions to tourism development in the face of overwhelming adversity, supporting the chosen destination by donating exhibition space at the event to the value of US$10,000.
As well as physical rebuilding, the award also focuses on the strategic redevelopment of a destination as nations seek to repair market confidence and attract tourism back to the region.
“Efforts to rebuild and recover need to be front and centre at an international level if countries are to regain traveler confidence and re-energize their tourism product post-disaster, and the New Frontiers Recovery Award, which is now in its 12th year, is absolutely the right vehicle through which to recognize country efforts and reposition destinations to an influential global audience,” said Noblet-Segers.Previous award recipients include Phuket, Thailand; Cancun, Mexico; Sichuan, China; Baluchistan, Pakistan; Central Visayas, Philippines and last year, Nepal.