Dead Sea’s bid as a new wonder is dead


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Dead Sea failed to make the list of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Though it was running in the top 14 finalists on the last day of voting, it was not enough to make it onto the final list. 

"Thanks to the impressive campaign led by the Ministry of Tourism over the last two years, hundreds of millions of people worldwide have now been exposed to the Dead Sea and Israel," Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said in a statement following the announcement of the final tally on the evening of Nov. 11. "This is a true victory for Israel’s image abroad, the fruits of which we will see in the next few years in the investment in the rehabilitation and development of the Dead Sea."

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth, at 1,387 feet below sea level. The water level is dropping at about 1 meter per year.

Israel sank more than $2 million intp a global public relations campaign to win the contest. According to figures released by the Government Advertising Bureau, some 285,000 people visited the Dead Sea website this month, and at least 1.1 million have visited since the start of the campaign.

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, who all abut the sea, ran separate campaigns. The lack of regional cooperation is being seen as one reason that the site did not break into the top seven.

The provisional winners were the Amazon in South America; Halong Bay in Vietnam; Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil; Jeju Island in South Korea; Komodo in Indonesia; Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines; and Table Mountain in South Africa. The official winners will be announced at ceremonies early next year.

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