Vote for the Dead Sea – The Deepest Wonder of the World – in the Finals of the New 7 Wonders of Nature Competition!
(Communicated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism)
The Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth and one of Israel’s most popular tourist sites, is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, an international online competition to grade the seven natural wonders of the world. To reach the final shortlist, this unique tourism site had to beat off about 440 sites from 220 countries (more than the number of countries competing in the Olympics).
The lowest place on earth will compete through 2011 for the hearts and votes of over a billion people from around the world, against 27 other sites.
The Dead Sea has consistently remained among the top 14 of the 28 finalists since the final stage of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign began in July 2009. Other finalists include the Amazon River, the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Maldives. About a billion votes are expected to be cast before campaign ends on 11.11.11 and it is estimated that the winning seven finalists will need to secure about 300-400 million votes.
It is hoped that the candidacy of the Dead Sea in the competition will promote tourism to the region and raise public awareness around the world of the problems facing the sea, which has lost about one meter in height every year for the past 30 years.
Over the next two years, the Tourism Ministry will lead the campaign for the Dead Sea to be selected as one of the winners in the contest, via its 14 representative offices around the world, its websites in 11 languages and focused marketing activities that emphasize the unique attributes of the Dead Sea.
Voting for Dead Sea – under the slogan "No floating voters! Vote for the Dead Sea as one of the New7Wonders of Nature" – is available:
- via the Tourism Ministry’s websites (www.goisrael.com and www.votedeadsea.com)
- the campaign’s website (www.new7wonders.com)
- via SMS from Israeli mobile phones only by sending the words "Dead Sea" in English, Hebrew or Arabic to 2244 . Multiple SMS votes are possible at a cost of NIS 1 each.
At over 400 meters below sea level and with luxury hotels in the Ein Bokek area, the Dead Sea is known as the lowest and largest natural health spa in the world. This natural phenomenon offers tourists and health-seekers black Dead Sea mud and thermo-mineral hot springs which ease muscular tensions, improve blood circulation and alleviate rheumatic pain; desert-dry, pollution and pollen-free air that is rich in oxygen, bromine and magnesium and offers relief to those suffering from asthma, lung and heart diseases and year-round sunshine, whose harmful UVB rays are filtered through the extra layers of atmosphere offering relief to those suffering from skin diseases – as well as tourists looking to get a safer tan.
Tourist attractions in the area, among others, include the Roman fortress at Masada, the Ein Gedi and Einot Tzukim nature reserves and Qumran, home to the Essenes sect and the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
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About 200 journalists, travel industry professionals and wholesalers from Europe and North America participated (4-6 December 2009) in the 7th annual Dead Sea International Marketing Weekend to promote tourism to the Dead Sea.
During the conference, which is a joint initiative of the Dead Sea Hotel Association, the Tamar Regional Council, El Al and the Tourism Ministry, focused on the Dead Sea’s candidacy in the finals of the online New 7 Wonders of Nature competition and on the unique production of Verdi’s Nabucco, performed by the Israel Opera at the foot of Masada in June 2010.
The travel industry professionals met with their Israeli counterparts in order to promote joint cooperation and establish new contacts. The conference participants toured the Dead Sea region, Masada and Nahal David and were introduced to the Dead Sea as a unique tourism product that includes spa, beauty and health treatments and as a venue for entertainment and cultural productions.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: "During 2009-2010, the Tourism Ministry will invest 500 million shekel in promoting Israel, with a significant amount reserved for promoting the Dead Sea as an important brand in Israel tourism. The conference, with the participation of key journalists and travel industry professionals, is of great importance in promoting tourism to Israel in general and to the Dead Sea region, with its unique properties, sites and stunning landscapes in particular."
Mayor of the Tamar Regional Council Dov Litvinoff: "The candidacy of the Dead Sea as a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition is an important milestone in making Israel into a tourism destination and in the international recognition that the Dead Sea will receive as a natural treasure that has no equal in the world."