The lowest place on earth, located in Israel, is moving up in the competition to choose the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World. In an encouraging show of cooperation, the tourism ministries of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, all of whom border the Dead Sea, each signed the official supporting papers for its candidacy, to ensure its inclusion in the list of 77 sites.
Voting for the next round will begin on July 22, when 28 finalists will be selected. Competition organizers expect over a billion people from around the world to participate in the online voting, which will continue into 2011, when the finalists in each of seven categories will be announced.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov announced that the Tourism Ministry will lead the campaign for the Dead Sea via its 14 offices around the world, its websites in 11 languages and focused marketing activities. The ministry will emphasize the unique attributes of the Dead Sea and promote tourism to the area.
The list of 28 finalists will be published on July 21, on the website www.new7wonders.com. Voting for the final stage will commence on July 22, both online and via mobile phones. It will also be possible to vote via the Ministry website, www.goisrael.com.
Other contenders include the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, the Galapagos Islands, Niagara Falls, Kilimanjaro Mountains, the Black Forest, the Maldives Islands and many more.