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PUERTO PRINCESA’S TOURISM GEM:

Underground river among new 7 wonders

/ 12:36 PM November 12, 2011

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn (center) shows New Seven Wonders Foundation president Bernard Weber and director Jean-Paul de la Fuente the awe-inspiring sights of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in this photo taken on Oct. 23, 2011. RODEL ROTONI

GENEVA—The Philippines’ Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Amazon rainforest, Vietnam’s Halong Bay and Argentina’s Iguazu Falls were named among the world’s new seven wonders of nature, according to organizers of a global poll.

The other three crowned the world’s natural wonders are South Korea’s Jeju Island, Indonesia’s Komodo and South Africa’s Table Mountain, said the New7Wonders foundation, citing provisional results.

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Final results will be announced early 2012, said the Swiss foundation, warning however that there may yet be changes between the provisional winners and the final list.

Sites which have failed to make the cut include Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the Dead Sea and the US Grand Canyon.

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The poll organised by Swiss foundation New7Wonders has attracted great interest, mobilizing celebrities including Argentinian football star Lionel Messi calling on fans to pick his home country’s Iguazu Falls.

The results come after a long consultation process lasting from December 2007 to July 2009, when world citizens were asked to put forward sites which they deemed were natural wonders.

More than a million votes were cast to trim the list of more than 440 contenders in over 220 countries down to a shortlist of 77.

The group was then further cut to the 28 finalists by a panel of experts.

Anyone in the world was then able to vote for the final seven via telephone, text messages or Internet social networks.

The Philippine government vigorously campaigned for the Palawan subterranean river in a bid to boost a sagging tourism industry.

Founded in 2001 by filmmaker Bernard Weber in Zurich, the foundation New7Wonders is based on the same principle on which the seven ancient wonders of the world were established. That list of seven wonders was attributed to Philon of Byzantium in ancient Greece.

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New7Wonders said its aim is to create a global memory by garnering participation worldwide.

But even as the natural wonders poll came to a close, the New7Wonders foundation has set its eyes on a new survey — the top seven cities of the world. Participating cities will be announced on January 1, 2012.  With a report from INQUIRER.net

Originally posted at 04:32 am | Saturday, November 12, 2011

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TAGS: New 7 Wonders of Nature, Puerto Princesa Underground River
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