The heat is on in the New7Wonders of the World competition, and the Tourism Ministry has launched a website in eight languages to promote the Dead Sea as a candidate in the category New7Wonders of Nature. The campaign is also being launched via social media – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – to encourage internet surfers to vote for the Dead Sea.
The site, in English, Russian, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin and Korean under the slogan "The Lowest Wonder in the World," will enable surfers to add their vote. It will also provide information about the Dead Sea, and about religious, historical and cultural sites in the area as well as health tourism, events and attractions.
The site is the latest in the Tourism Ministry's efforts to promote the site's candidacy in the competition. Other efforts include marketing, direct contact with Christian and Jewish leaders around the world, and advertising in national parks and other sites throughout the country as well as at international tourism fairs. The Ministry also held a Dead Sea week at the Expo in China, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.
Website promoting tourist site (Photo: Reuters)
300 million votes needed
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Yisrael Beitenu), chairman of the Dead Sea Support Committee, says the new campaign will place this unique natural feature in the hearts of people throughout the world.
"The Dead Sea, one of Israel's natural and tourism treasures offers visitors a unique experience, rich in history and archeology," Misezhnikov said. "We invite enthusiasts and veteran supporters of the Dead Sea as well as those discovering it for the first time, to visit and vote for it in the competition."
Since the Dead Sea made it through to the finals, it has occupied a position within the top 14 of the 28 finalists, which include the Amazon, the Galapagos, the Grand Canyon and the Maldives. Some billion voters are expected to express their preference by the time the competition closes in November 2011, after which the seven winners will be announced – each of which will need 300-400 million votes.
The Dead Sea is considered one of the most popular attractions in Israel. According to Tourism Ministry data, some 45% of all tourists to Israel visit the Dead Sea. The tourist industry along its shores includes 15 hotels as well as 19 guesthouses in nearby kibbutzim and moshavim, plus various other businesses which provide employment to some 4,500 people.
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