After tolerating the uninformed condescending comments from dozens of you for me not “being patriotic” and “supporting Lebanon” and all that self-righteous bull-crap that comes from people who sniff their farts and believe it smells like roses, I finally have validation for my claims that the N7W is a SCAM to make money off people’s good intentions.
I have vehemently been opposed to the voting and the desperate campaign the government and virtually every other business in Lebanon has been running to look good. It’s not like me to rebel against something that seems so homogenous and unanimous, but I could not betray what little intelligence Mother Nature has bestowed upon our species…
(sorry if you got offended by the above, but I was supremely irritated with the level of spam on Jeita when I put down these words)
Why Is It a Scam?
How the hell is a vote fair if every person can vote an unlimited amount of times, so long as they pay 10 cents. Why can’t you vote online unlimitedly for free? Ever think of that? And don’t give me the population argument, cause no matter how big a population, I can pay 5 million dollars and make my beautiful bottom a world natural wonder!
Voting Since 2009
What kind of vote lasts for 2 years? I mean, seriously people…
UNESCO does NOT Support It
“Although UNESCO was invited to support this (the previous“New7Wonders of the World” competition) project on several occasions, the Organisation decided not to collaborate”
The Maldives Have Withdrawn Their Entry Because N7w Wanted HUGE Sums of Money
The Maldives has decided to immediately and unilaterally withdraw from theNew7Wonders of Nature scam 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.
“With regret, we are withdrawing from this competition because of the unexpected demands for large sums of money from the New7Wonders organisers. We no longer feel that continued participation in this competition is in the economic interests of the Maldives,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, Minister of State for Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Chairman of the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC).
The Maldives originally agreed to participate in the New7Wonders of Nature competition in early 2009 and paid a participation administration fee of $199. However, the details of the joint initiatives and escalating costs were not clearly outlined prior to signing. Recently, 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.
The MMPRC repeatedly asked the New7Wonders organisers if there was a way to stay in the competition without paying significant sums of money. The New7Wonders organisers eventually stated that the Maldives could host a “protocol visit” for a delegation of the New7Wonders organisers, in which the Maldives would incur “flights and logistical costs etc.” The New7Wonders organisers pointed out, however, that “in our previous campaign for the man made Official New7Wonders of the World, all the winners had highly successful World Tour Events” and added “you do need sponsorship to participate fully in initiatives such as the World Tour event visit”
While the Maldives has invested considerable time and effort in campaigning for the New7Wonders of Nature competition, the country has not spent significant sums of money on the campaign. After extensive discussions with tourism industry stakeholders, the Maldives has decided to withdraw from the competition with immediate effect.
The Maldives would like to note the press release from UNESCO dated July 9, 2007 which states: “Although UNESCO was invited to support this (the previous“New7Wonders of the World” competition) project on several occasions, the Organisation decided not to collaborate”
The Maldives further notes concerns raised by lawyers acting for the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism, in regards to Komodo Island’s participation in the New7Wonders of Nature competition.
Finally, the Maldives is perplexed with the recent inconsistent patterns of the rankings of the competitors at this stage of the competition and the lack of detailed information and transparency as to how this is calculated
So, save yourself money and dignity, and stop spamming/voting. As for our dear government, apologize to your people and withdraw from this scam you’ve so valiantly advertised. (the tone here is a result of my extreme irritation at the spam levels, I’m sorry for being so harsh =P)
Tourists who go online tend to be smart. Smart enough to realize and hear news of the N7W being a scam. So, STFU about that argument and look at the facts. I am a tourist, and if I go online and see a country boasting it’s part of the N7W I’d think, “wow, these guys must have nothing to offer…” Stop thinking you’re smarter than tourists, most of whom come to Lebanon better-informed than the Lebanese themselves. NO ONE is falling for this and it will NOT help Lebanon’s tourism as much as we’d like to think.
Should we be proud we were part of something like this? That we supported the N7W lies for all those years? This Lebanese mentality of “3aynak ya tejer” might fool some foreigners into coming to Lebanon once, but never again after that one time! We should focus on real, concrete and well-tested methods to boost our tourism, starting by preserving and restoring our heritage sites, making pacts with other nations to swap tourists (visa and flight facilities) and other policies which are transparent and up-standing, not sneaky BS.
Thank you for your patience, and I hope you will take the above into consideration before you continue spamming everyone
As for the government, I hope you’ll stop making stupid ads now and do your job instead =)
My Two Cents (after plenty of hate was hurled my way)
The money and effort would’ve been better spent on:
- Renovating the road leading to Jeita (which it seems Minister Ghazi Aridi is planning to do now)
- Pressure MAPAS (the company that renovated and now runs Jeita Grotto) to lower prices (18,000+ LBP per person when in fact the entrance “fee” is just 7,000 LBP, the rest are for the alleged “services” we get like telefrique) and equip the facilities better (restaurant, restrooms, safer walkways, etc.)
- Fining and dealing with the two restaurants on the road to Jeita which pull-over cars for a rigged “tombola”, telling people they “won” but have to pay 100,000 LBP to get their prize of “coupons”
- Ensuring the water sources of Jeita (from the mountain that houses it) remain untainted to preserve the beautiful caverns reminiscent of JRR Tolkien’s Mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings
- Document the fauna and flora within the cave, which undoubtedly houses very rare creatures and microorganisms, adding scientific, academic and ecological value to the already 280,000-visitor-per-year natural wonder
- Open a larger portion of the cave, instead of the minuscule part which the public can access
- Train the guides better, their knowledge of the cave and its history was laughable last time I visited the grotto earlier this summer
So please guys, put your prejudices aside and think a little bit, that’s all I’m asking. Keep voting, keep campaigning and best of luck to Lebanon and Jeita! I personally am sticking to my decision of not supporting the N7W for the obvious reasons I have stated above. However, I do acknowledge that the enthusiasm alone deserves to get Jeita on the Top 7. Let’s hope it does, and that the money obstacle does not make us stumble and shake our heads in the near future.
More on how Thailand caught on to the scam too in this article here
In February this year, the Jakarta Post reported the country’s Tourism Minister Jero Wacik as stating that the Ministry had received a letter on December 29, 2010 claiming that NOWC would “suspend” Komodo from the list of finalists if it refused to pay the US$10 million license fee.
Feedback from Malaysia
The ad campaign for Jeita is
stolen borrowed (since they gave credit on YouTube) =D Read here
BlogBaladi reports on how the MOT is organizing trips to Jeito exclusively for female domestic workers
NowLebanon Blog’s Angie Nassar adds her support
My interview with France 24 Arabic’s Aswat al Shabaka segment