A new global tourism platform, created to showcase the New 7 Wonders of Nature, has been launched at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2013, following the culmination of a four-year campaign that saw the general public vote for their favourite destination shaped by Mother Nature.

The Visit7Wonders platform will bring the chosen destinations together through a combined international marketing and awareness campaign designed to drive tourism opportunities to each location, which includes the Amazon, South America; Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil; Jeju Island, South Korea; Komodo Island, Indonesia; Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines; and South Africa’s Table Mountain.

“We received literally hundreds of million of votes from around the world and the positive impact to tourism, both culturally and financially, from participating in and being named a New 7 Wonder of Nature has been extraordinary, with independent research by the Grant Thornton consultancy revealing that certain locations have already seen growth rates of 20%, and investment into new airport infrastructure and new flight demand potentially adding millions of dollars in tourism revenue,” said Jean-Paul de la Fuente, Director, New7Wonders.

“With the world’s tourism industry here at ATM, this is a ‘natural’ springboard from which to launch the Visit7Wonders programme of brand marketing and online activity. We want to take these amazing locations off the bucket list of travellers everywhere and see them locked into their future travel plans, offering tourists life-changing choices and operators unique business opportunities,” added Marcelo Almada, Director, Visit7Wonders.

Guest of honour at the official unveiling was Dr Maurice Closs, Governor of the Province of Misiones, Argentina, who led the successful campaign for the election of Iguazu Falls as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

“We hosted the first-ever New7Wonders of Nature congress in Iguazu, Argentina, and this was the catalyst for the development of joint tourism opportunities. Visit7Wonders is the final outcome of that decision, and we look forward to seeing each natural wonder take its rightful place as a world-leading destination for tourism,” he said.

In bringing the seven natural wonders together under one global tourism brand, Almada and the Visit7Wonders team will use the collective appeal of the septet of individual destinations to maintain a unified presence at major international travel and tourism trade fairs and events, develop special destination packages, and offer partnership opportunities for hotels, airlines and tourism service providers in their respective countries.

“This initiative also has a more serious message, and that is one of working together as an industry to educate and increase awareness of the vital importance of sustainable tourism development, so that these locations retain their natural beauty and unique heritage for the next generation of tourists; and we will roll out a series of educational programmes to support this,” added Almada.

Visit7Wonders is exhibiting at Arabian Travel Market on Stand # AM7020