Israel: Vote for Dead Sea as World Nature Wonder

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel is urging its citizens and others around the world to continue to vote for the Dead Sea as one of the New7Wonders of Nature before the deadline for choosing on Friday. 

A Swiss group launched the New7Wonders of Nature project several years ago to choose seven natural wonders.

The Dead Sea is a joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian contestant among 27 others, which include America's Grand Canyon, Australia's Great Barrier Reef and sites in Viet Nam, Indonesia, Lebanon and Italy.

According to Sunday's announcement, the Dead Sea is among the top 10 finalists in the world competition, the Tourism Ministry said. But that could still shift.

"We are closer than ever to victory, but we must remember that we are not there yet and everything can still change," Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said in a statement on Monday. "We must not be apathetic, rather we must continue to vote for the Dead Sea in full force, both in Israel and around the world."

Misezhnikov says if the Dead Sea wins, it would increase tourism to the region by hundreds of thousands each year, creating thousands of jobs and improving Israel's image as a tourist destination abroad.

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