On Dec. 30 last year, the Jeju Welcome Center saw an unusual sight, some 200 dignitaries from the island, including former Governor Kim Tae Hwan, fumbling with their mobile handsets to make an international phone call all at the same time.
They were voting for Jeju, lending their hands to make the island one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The voting for the New7Wonders is mostly done on the Internet, but the site also allows people to vote for their favorite site over the phone.
“Jeju was the first place in the world to score the coveted triple crown in UNESCO eco-site designation,” Bu Man Keun, who chairs the commission of island-wide supporters, said during the ceremony. “But what will really make the name of Jeju known to the world over is for the island to be elected as the New7Wonders of Nature.”
Bu noted that Machu Picchu, an Inca sacred place in the Andean mountains of Peru, saw the number of visitors to the site jump by more than 70 percent after it was elected the New7Wonders of the World back in 2007. He stressed that the commission will ramp up their campaign drive during the remaining 300 days until the window of voting is closed in November, persuading islanders and visitors to vote for Jeju.
“The fact that Jeju was elected as one of the finalists together with Grand Canyon National Park and Amazon Rainforest shows that Jeju was already recognized for its natural value,” said Mun Dae Rim, the chairman of the Jeju Provincial Assembly.
Jung Woon Chan, a former prime minister and the chief of The Jeju New7Wonders of Nature Designation Nationwide Commission, said that he traveled to the four corners of the world but found no place more heartwarming and beautiful than Jeju. He warned that Jeju had started the campaign rather belatedly but pledged that he would do his best by mobilizing his entire Korean network for the voting.
The final declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature by the Swiss non-profit organization will be made in November 2011. Voting for the New7Wonders of Nature is possible from everywhere on the planet via the Internet and telephone on the N7W Global Voting Platform.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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