Attended by delegations from countries with a combined population of more than 600 million people, the first-ever New7Wonders of Nature Congress took place yesterday in Iguazu, Argentina. Addressing the delegates, Bernard Weber, Founder-President New7Wonders, said the purpose of the congress was provide “a platform to exchange information, create stimulus for shared programs, and a chance to network for common goals like tourism, branding, promotion, the environment and education.”
Noting that one of the biggest rewards of being listed as a New7Wonder of Nature is its positive impact on tourism and accompanying job creation, he said that managing success needs to be seen as a “high quality” problem.
“However, it is also a big challenge for many of you,” he added. “For example, how to manage the increasing influx and flow of visitors in such a way that it does not compromise the natural beauty and natural habitat.”
Echoing this wish, Governor Maurice Closs of Misiones Province, Argentina, said he hoped that the New7Wonders of Nature Congress would pay special attention to sustainable development. “The rise of tourism will be key, but it must be sustainable,” he said, “It must reach the people and the benefits must trickle down to the people and improve their lives.”
At the conclusion of the congress, the delegates agreed to study the feasibility of promoting the New7Wonders of Nature using advertising campaigns that combine the seven sites and then signed a declaration committing themselves to work together to “seize the opportunities presented by our unique and diverse presence in the world.”