A new global tourism platform created to showcase the New 7 Wonders of Nature was launched at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2013, following the culmination of a four-year campaign that saw the general public vote for their favourite destination shaped by Mother Nature.
The Visit7Wonders platform will bring the chosen destinations together through a combined international marketing and awareness campaign designed to drive tourism opportunities to each location, which includes the Amazon in South America; Ha Long Bay in Vietnam; Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil; Jeju Island in South Korea; Komodo Island in Indonesia; Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines; and Table Mountain in South Africa.
“We received hundreds of millions of votes from around the world,” says Jean-Paul de la Fuente, director, New7Wonders, adding that the positive impact to tourism, both culturally and financially, from participating in and being named a New 7 Wonder of Nature has been extraordinary, with independent research by the Grant Thornton consultancy revealing that certain locations have already seen growth rates of 20 per cent, and investment into new airport infrastructure and new flight demand potentially adding millions of dollars in tourism revenue.
“With the world’s tourism industry here at ATM, this is a natural springboard from which to launch Visit7Wonders’ brand marketing and online activity. We want to take these amazing locations off the bucket list of travellers everywhere and see them locked into their future travel plans, offering tourists life-changing choices and operators unique business opportunities,” added Marcelo Almada, director, Visit7Wonders.
In bringing the seven natural wonders together under one global tourism brand, Almada and the Visit7Wonders team will use the collective appeal of the septet of individual destinations to maintain a unified presence at major international travel and tourism trade fairs and events, develop special destination packages, and offer partnership opportunities for hotels, airlines and tourism service providers in their respective countries.
“This initiative also has a more serious message, and that is one of working together as an industry to educate and increase awareness of the vital importance of sustainable tourism development, so that these locations retain their natural beauty and unique heritage for the next generation of tourists; and we will roll out a series of educational programmes to support this,” added Almada.
By Shilpa Santhosh
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