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May 22, 2009

Natural Wonder competition promises massive tourism boost

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South Africa is set to see a massive increase in tourism if its beloved Table Mountain is named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The country of Jordan reported a visitor increase of more than 100% to the ancient ruins of Petra, after it was declared a New 7 Wonder of the world in July 2007. Visits to Peru’s Machu Picchu soared by 70% and the value of real estate in the area doubled.

South Africans have until July 7 to vote for Table Mountain in the global race to name the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The country’s most famous mountain needs an injection of votes to qualify for the next round.

Table Mountain needs to be ranked in the top 11 of its group (mountains and volcanoes) – which has 36 fellow nominees – to qualify for the next round. Table Mountain is currently ranked 25 out of 36. Other categories include seascapes, lakes, islands, ice formations, waterfalls and forests.

The New7Wonders Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland announced in January 2009 that Table Mountain was one of 261 magnificent natural sites from 222 countries to have made it through to the second round in this global race to name the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Other iconic African natural sites to come through the first round include the Kalahari Desert, the Great Rift Valley, the Avenue of Baobabs, Lake Tanganyika, the Kafue National Park and Victoria Falls.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature will be determined by votes from the public and South Africans and fans from outside of our borders can show their support for the Mother City’s majestic mountain by visiting www.votefortablemountain.com and casting their vote.

Voting to select the top 77 sites runs until July 7 this year. Thereafter a panel of experts will select the 21 finalists - these will be announced on July 21 when the third and final phase of voting will begin. The official New 7 Wonders of Nature will be revealed in 2011.

Over 100 million votes were cast in 2007’s first-ever global election for the New 7 Wonders of the world. More than 1 billion votes are forecast in this 2nd global election. To cast your vote for Table Mountain visit www.votefortablemountain.com

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