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July 17, 2010

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Natural wonders never cease at Expo Shanghai

WORLD Expo visitors are being encouraged to vote for the "New 7 Wonders of Nature" as some national pavilions are holding campaigns to promote their "wonder."

The global online campaign is in its final phase as 28 finalists have been selected. The finalists include the Dead Sea, the Maldives, the Amazon River, Angel Falls, the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and Halong Bay.

The Maldives Pavilion has set up eight computers, asking visitors to vote on the spot with the guidance of on-site volunteers.

Each person who votes for the Maldives will have a chance to win two return tickets to the island nation. The tickets will be provided by the Maldives Tourism Bureau.

The Israel Pavilion yesterday opened a Dead Sea Promotion Week, hoping to drum up more votes for the world's saltiest lake.

The promotion continues until next Thursday and features a photo exhibition themed "Unrevealed Beauty" by photographer Duby Tal. The exhibit includes 20 aerial photos of the Dead Sea.

"Each photo is printed double-side, that is to say, visitors can enjoy them both in the pavilion or outside through our pavilion's glass windows, which can save visitors lots of queuing time," said Yaffa Ben-Ari, the pavilion's deputy commissioner general.

"The Dead Sea is a natural treasure for all," she added. "Visitors are welcome to take a real journey to Israel to enjoy the magic of this wonderful natural spa."

Each visitor during the promotion will also receive a small souvenir -- a mini fan, which includes details on how to vote for the wonders online.

"We don't have terminals for voting in the pavilion because it will take too long," the deputy commissioner general said. "We have to ensure the flow of visitors at all times."

The competition was launched in 2007 by Bernard Weber, the founder and president of New7Wonders Foundation. The winners will be revealed on November 11, 2011. An estimated 1 billion votes are expected.

People can visit for more information and to vote.


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