A YEAR after a powerful tsunami devastated Japan, the development was recalled yesterday. This time, the tragedy did not elicit sadness and gory pictures in the minds of people.
It was rather a remembrance that occasioned celebration as the country’s dogged effort at rebuilding, and the resilience of its tourism industry were rewarded with the New Frontiers Award 2012 at the Arabian Travel Marketing (ATM) holding at Dubai (UAE).
It was an elated Consul-General to Japanese Embassy in Dubai, Daisuke Matsunaga, that stepped on the colourful podium to receive the award on behalf of his country.
The award was presented to him by a representative of Chile, winner of last year award alongside the Portfolio Director of Reed Travel Exhibitions (organisers of the travel and tourism trade fair), Mark Walsh who described Japan as having performed extremely well in the wake of the disaster.
“The Japanese government and its people have displayed extra-ordinary resilience in the face of such extreme adversity and have made significant strides in getting the country’s economy back on track,” he said, adding that “the sheer determination and concerted effort of Japan’s people in pushing ahead with such a monumental task is truly inspiring.”
The award was initiated in 2005 to celebrate and recognise outstanding contributions to tourism development in the face of overwhelming adversity, such as faced by Japan on March 10, 2011 when it was hit by tsunami.