Dead Sea in top 10 as new 7 Wonders vote nears end

Organizers expect site to be flooded with last minute voters.

Dead Sea Mud 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Dead Sea Mud 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition winds down to its final two days, people around the world are making last-minute efforts to see their favorite sites surge ahead while the competition organizers are encouraging voters to cast their ballots as soon as possible, to avoid a server disaster.

“People should try to vote online today or tomorrow, because all the indications are that traffic at during the final 48 hours before voting closes on Friday at 11:11:11 a.m. GMT will be phenomenal,” Eamonn Fitzgerald, head of communications at New7Wonders, posted on the competition’s website on Monday.“We cannot guarantee that everyone who wants to vote via will be able to during these peak days, which is why we’re issuing this appeal now.”
The New7Wonders Foundation, the organizers of this vote and a previous 2007 New7Wonders of the World contest, has also just announced that it will soon be conducting a third competition – New7Wonders Cities – for which those interested can nominate their favorite cities worldwide until December 31.While the Dead Sea was officially trending among the top 10 of the final 28 sites on Sunday, the current contest does not end until Friday at 1:11 p.m. Israel time, and according to the New7Wonders Facebook and Twitter feeds, contestants everywhere are pushing for a win.Both FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Argentinean model Ingrid Grudke are putting out the word for Brazilian-Argentinean Igazu Falls, while students at the European International School in Munich have created a “Wonders of Our Nature” YouTube song to promote their candidate, Germany’s Black Forest. In Ireland, football manager Giovanni Trapattoni is urging people to cast their votes for the Emerald Isle’s Cliffs of Moher, and in Lebanon, students at the American University of Science and Technology voted for the country’s Jeita Grotto in unison.Israeli efforts to secure a Dead Sea win remain far from complacent, however, and PR efforts will continue throughout the country in the next two days, according to the Tourism Ministry. The government’s wide-scale PR campaign, which it in the end hopes will bring increased tourism to both the Dead Sea and Israel, began with a comprehensive marketing campaign of NIS 8.75 million that was launched in May.As the final weeks drew nearer, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov launched a golden countdown clock on the side of Tel Aviv’s Crown Plaza City Center building on October 16, while on October 21, Knesset members submitted their votes for the Dead Sea simultaneously, according to the ministry.About a week later, students heard a virtual classroom lecture on the Dead Sea with introductions from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar.Meanwhile, Israeli singer Laila Malcos recently performed a new “Dead Sea Song” written just for the competition and photographer Elhanan Yair unveiled a photo exhibition at Kibbutz Ein Gedi dedicated to the contest’s win, a Tourism Ministry representative told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.About two weeks ago, part of fashion designer Osnat Subah’s Silhouette 2011 collection was featured on Fashion TV in a “Fashion in Dead Sea Israel” segment, in which models clothed in her garments strutted along the aquamarine coast.Until the contest’s conclusion, voters can send SMS messages casting their ballots for the Dead Sea by texting the words “Dead Sea” in English, Hebrew or Arabic to the number 2244, or by visiting or