Twitter discussion: Fee controversy in New 7 Wonders’ contest

The New7Wonders of Nature has been announced. In alphabetical order, they are: Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Table Mountain.

It turns out that the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition reeks of controversy. The organizers are accused of asking for millions for marketing, despite entry fee of $199

Even prior to the deadline, there were warnings that the four-year long competition to name the seven wonders of the natural world was rife with controversy “after governments accused the organisers of asking for millions of dollars in marketing costs.” Maldives decided to “immediately and unilaterally withdraw from the New7Wonders of Nature competition because of the New7Wonders organiser’s demand for expensive license fees and sponsorship packages in order to compete meaningfully in the remainder of the competition.”

Such fees involved the following:

the New7Wonders organisers have repeatedly asked the Maldives to pay significantly more money, including:

A Platinum sponsorship license fee at US $350,000.

Two Gold sponsorship license fees at US $210,000 each.

The sponsorship of a ‘World Tour’ event, whereby the Maldives would pay for a delegation of people to visit the country, provide hot air balloon rides, press trips, flights, accommodation, communications etc.

US $1,000,000 license fee for a national telecom provider to participate in New7Wonders campaign – later reduced to US $500,000 on appeal.

US $1,000,000 license fee for a Maldives based airline to display logo on aircraft.

@carloshconde points out that it is “Difficult not to fall for #new7wonders. It was supported by UN, panel was led by ex-Unesco chief, gov’ts gushing about it, etc. ” and ” could this be the UN “recognition” the #new7wonders people used to hype the campaign and engage govts?”

@franky adds “It is supported by UN Fund for International Partnerships ” @k1ngkAr0l clarifies “unesco has disavowed their participation to the new7wonders in 2007 ”

@mindanaon feels “We’ve all been taken for a ride, it seems. So sad.” Not everyone believed though. @cons44 said “not all of us. some, like @jabjimenez saw it coming and tried to warn those who were so hot to vote.. #new7wonders” When friends were telling him to vote , he did a simple google search and found a disclaimer from UNESCO.

In order to avoid any damaging confusion, UNESCO wishes to reaffirm that there is no link whatsoever between UNESCO’s World Heritage programme, which aims to protect world heritage, and the current campaign concerning “The New 7 Wonders of the World”.

Perhaps not all is lost. @artsamaniego looks at the silver lining “well at least it touched our sense of nationalism, people voted without even knowing what it is basta para sa bayan 🙂 ” The The new 7 wonders was “appeal to everyone’s national pride. Those awards always work.” adds @franky.

” If we can only do the same for other PHL destinations. ;).. it still is good for promotion.” says @tourismpinas.

The Philippine government needs to explain its participation in the New 7 Wonders. If fees were paid, where were they taken from? How much revenue sharing is there on the text votes? Let’s be transparent.