The cascades of Victoria Falls are hidden from casual view by a rainforest

http://www.theindependent.co.zw/
Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:13

Note: In light of this article, VF24 was sent a link to another interesting point of view: http://www.goseewrite.com
We leave the readers to make up their own minds!

VICTORIA Falls lost the popular vote as one of the new Seven Wonders of the
World, in a poll conducted by Swiss-based New7 Wonders Foundation. The poll
puts the Seven Wonders of the World as the Amazon River in South America,
Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil, Komodo in Indonesia, Halong Bay in
Vietnam, Jeju Island in South Korea, Table Mountain in South Africa and
Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines.

The list differs from the traditional list compiled by United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) which has Grand
Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Harbour of Rio De Janeiro, Mount Everest,
Aurora, Paruticun volcano and the Victoria Falls.

Tourism and Hospitality ministry Walter Mzembi said the new list of wonders
was not coming from a recognised site but a Swiss agency which based its
results on internet rating.

The campaign was launched in 2000 as a private initiative by Bernard Weber,
the idea being to encourage citizens around the world to select seven new
wonders of the world by popular vote.

The finalists included two Australian tourist icons, Uluru and the Great
Barrier Reef. Uluru in the Northern Territory is the world’s largest
monolith, while the reef is the world’s biggest coral reef, comprising more
than 3000 individual reef systems and beaches. The Paricutin Volcano in
Mexico, also a finalist, is one of the few volcanoes whose birth has been
witnessed by man. It literally grew over a corn-field during 1943-52.

Others on the list are the Dead Sea (Israel), the Grand Canyon (United
States), the Aurora (Northern Lights), the Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe),
Mount Everest (Tibet/Nepal), Rio de Janeiro Harbor (Brazil), Halong Bay
(Vietnam), Angel Falls (Venezuela), and Jeita Grotto (Lebanon).

In 2007, Unesco reaffirmed that there that there is no link whatsoever
between Unesco’s World Heritage programme, which aims to protect world
heritage, and the current campaign concerning the “New 7 Wonders of the
World”.

Victoria Falls was a natural wonder, Mzembi said, which had the backing of
Unesco and “divine rating”. He said the poll was the work of detractors who
have an agenda against the country.

Tourism, together with mining, agriculture and manufacturing were the main
pillars of economic recovery in this country. Mzembi said the western
imperialists were aware of this and as a result were trying to fight against
this.

“They are now using perception to pursue their agenda. It all started with
the ICT conference and now it is this. They tried it with the Kimberly
Process but they failed.”

He said government has been on the forefront marketing the falls, which is
why it had won the joint bid with Zambia to host the United Nations’s World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference in 2013. At least 200 countries are
expected to come for the meeting.

Mzembi said that in February, delegates from UNWTO and World Travel &
Tourism Council will make courtesy calls to President Robert Mugabe to
officially announce that the country will host the UNWTO event.

Mzembi said that occupancies in Victoria Falls, over the Christmas holiday,
were at around 76%.