Monday, May 9, 2011
Israel, Jordan, Palestinians backing Dead Sea in "7 Wonders of Nature" contest
In a bid to win the international "7 Wonders of Nature" campaign in November, the Israeli government has decided to launch a campaign together with Jordan and the Palestinians to promote the Dead Sea's candidacy via the Tourism Ministry, Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said Sunday.
With a budget over 8.5 million shekels (about 2.5 million U.S. dollars), this is the biggest bid so far to advertise the Dead Sea, the world's saltiest body of water, located at the lowest point on earth, and one that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
Israeli officials expect the campaign to boost the number of tourists visiting the area, as well as to give a shot in the arm to the Negev's economy.
"There is enormous significance, in economic and image terms," Misezhnikov said in a statement, "should the Dead Sea win an international campaign with over 1 billion voters."
This campaign, a joint effort between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian National Authority, aims to collect the 300 million votes needed to secure the Dead Sea a place among the seven finalists.
Among the 28 candidates are the Amazon River, the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Maldives.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry plans to get out the Dead Sea vote via its 11 offices overseas and websites in eight languages, as well as through tourism fairs and social media.
The contest will conclude on Nov. 11, 2011, with the announcement of the winners.