The first New7Wonders Global Network Summit was held at the weekend in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Participants included delegates from New Wonders host countries, the “W20”: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
The New7Wonders Global Network was announced last year in Jeju, South Korea with the goal of bringing together the New7Wonders of the World and the New7Wonders of Nature under the aegis of the New7Wonders organisation to explore areas of common interest across the tourism, development and investment spectrum, to consider joint marketing and branding opportunities, and to nurture the value of the New7Wonders brand.
Participants heard that after the Great Wall of China had been elected as one of the New7Wonders of the World in 2007, some 30 million tourists from around the world visited the historical site. But the benefits were not confined to the economic sphere. The Chinese government used the confirmation to create an educational platform that encouraged young people to be the custodians of their national heritage.
The delegate from Argentina, Marcelo Almada, proposed a “Visit 7 Wonders” programme designed leverage business and educational opportunities for participants. For the pilot project, he would like to bring people from seven countries to visit the seven wonders, and then share their experiences via social media.
“We use technology to support our common cause,” said Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, who outlined the idea of establishing a New7Wonders Museum. This would have an interactive “Wall of Wonders”, where people from around the world could upload their Seven Wonders experiences. “It is an important contribution for the future, because it has a real value, more valuable than stock market,” Weber said, outlining his vision.
In his remarks, Bernard Weber described the New7 Wonders Cities campaign as the next logical step in the evolution of the organisation. The 7 man-made Wonders speak about the past; the Wonders of Nature speak about the present, and cities speak about the future of society. “Urbanization and its challenges are all about the people,” he said. And, referring to the New7Wonders journey, he added: “We can look back with pride, we can look ahead with confidence, but the best is still yet to come.”
The next New7Wonders Global Network Summit will be held in 2014 in Jeju, South Korea.
Note: The New7Wonders Global Network is open to representatives of the sites elected in both the New7Wonders of the World and the New7Wonders of Nature campaigns. The chosen wonders that make up the “canon of 14” are:
Christ the Redeemer
Great Wall of China
Ha Long Bay
Puerto Princesa Underground River