At seven minutes past one, Tuesday, 21st July, the New 7 wonders selection committee announced at its headquarters in Switzerland that Co. Clare’s Cliffs of Moher has become one of the 28 Official Finalists in the race to become one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world.
The most recent round of public voting closed on July 7th with the top 77 eligible candidates identified from the original 440 participants. These 77 have been considered by an international panel of experts over the last number of weeks, with the panel unveiling their final list of 28 this afternoon. The third and final phase of voting is now underway with people again able to vote for the Cliffs from the selection of 28 official finalist candidates. The new 7 natural wonders will be chosen by an estimated 1 billion votes. Voting will continue throughout 2010 and 2011 with the official declaration of the new 7 wonders of nature taking place in 2011.
News of an Irish nominee reaching the final 28 is fantastic for the country and for 7UP Free who led the campaign to get the Cliffs nominated. Fáilte Ireland estimates that the impact on the Irish tourism market of the Cliffs becoming one of the new 7 Natural Wonders could be priceless to the Irish economy in the short term with even greater longer term benefits. With almost 1 million visitors already flocking to the Cliffs of Moher every year this could increase by up to 35% if Ireland boasted one of the 7 Wonders of Nature.
Commenting on the announcement Zoe Kavanagh, Managing Director, PepsiCo Ireland, the official sponsor of the bid said “We are absolutely delighted that the Cliffs of Moher have made the final list of 28 nominees and are in with a chance to become one of the new 7 wonders of nature. 7UP Free is proud to be associated with the bid and sincerely hopes the Cliffs can now go on and claim natural wonder status for Ireland.”
Katherine Webster, Director, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, said “It’s phenomenal that the Cliffs have made the final list of 28 nominees and the team here are all thrilled with the result. We believe this magnificent and unique place truly deserves Natural Wonder status and are overjoyed that it has been recognised as one of the 28 most spectacular feats of nature on earth. We are ever grateful for the huge support the Cliffs have received throughout the campaign from across Ireland and the globe and we are very optimistic that the Cliffs can go all the way and become one of the chosen 7!”