New “seventh world wonder” could be huge tourism boost for Philippines

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The Beauty of Vigan City is on the list of New7Wonders of the World

The New7Wonders status related to inclusions of the 7 Wonders of the World has given the Philippines two great additions recently. Puerto Princesa Underground River is already on the list but one more is on the verge, and this one could be huge.

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Vigan City is on the list to be included into the new 7Wonders group of the best places on the planet to visit. This inclusion could mean billions of dollars of income for the country and the tourism industry.

Eamonn Fitzgerald, head of communications of New7Wonders, based in Switzerland claims that the inclusion gives areas economic impact as well as heritage and historic efforts too.

“A number of independent studies have attested to the enormous value that accrues to the elected Wonders. This value is measured in the billions of U.S. dollars,” Fitzgerald said.

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Among the studies he highlighted was a report published by Grant Thornton in 2011, which estimated that the value of being voted as one of the New7Wonders of Nature would be $1 billion over five years, per site.

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A Stunning Photograph of Puerto Princesa Underground River by famed photographer Paolo Petrignani La Ventra

The Puerto Princesa Underground River was announced as one of the winners in the worldwide polling for the New7Wonders of Nature in November 2011, thanks to aggressive campaigns by government officials.

Rounding out the list of seven sites were the Amazon in South America, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Jeju Island in Koreakom, Komodo in Indonesia, and Table Mountain in South Africa.

Another Philippine site could be in a new list by New7Wonders, this time to recognize cities that stand out in areas including urban planning, metropolitan governance, tourism, and architecture.

The heritage city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur has landed in the 21 finalists of New7Wonders’ third global vote. The finalists were chosen from more than 300 nominations from around the world.

Prior to its nomination in the New7Wonders Cities list, Vigan had been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999.

Vigan City, known for Spanish-era structures, in 2012 also won Unesco’s first-ever “Best Practice in World Heritage Site Management” Award, beating 27 other cities from 23 countries around the globe.

Fitzgerald noted, however, that inclusion in the New7Wonders list is different from recognition by other organizations like UNESCO, which he said “keep adding items so that the lists grow larger and larger.”

“The New7Wonders process is the exact opposite in that it seeks to reduce an extensive initial list of candidates to a core of seven,” Fitzgerald said, highlighting the prestige of the award.

“The economic benefits, which the hosting countries receive, also enable them to finance caretaking projects,” Fitzgerald added, even as he noted that New7Wonders is not in a position to impose policies.

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The Beauty inside of Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan – Photograph by Paolo Petrignani La Ventra
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