Niagara Falls, truly one of the most breathtaking natural sights on Earth, will not be one of the candidates for the list of “New Seven Wonders of Nature” being put together by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber. Niagara Falls tourism officials on the American side of the Falls chose to not enter because of the potential costs of promoting themselves in an economic climate where they are already struggling financially. The Canadian side of the Falls formed a committee to prepare for the contest but Niagara Falls was withdrawn as a candidate when it became clear that bi-national support was not available.
This is a sad testament to what the recession has done to America’s national parks and the tourism industry as a whole. The number of Niagara Falls tours booked are down significantly from where they were just a few years ago. It also reveals a flaw in the “New Seven Wonders” campaign. How many other wondrous natural sites are being left out of the running because they cannot afford to promote themselves? There are twenty-eight finalists, all from different nations, but there are a total of 190 countries in the world. Did they all have an entry?
Another issue with the Seven Wonders campaign is the limit of one that they have placed on the number of natural wonders finalists for each nation. The United States does have an entry, the Grand Canyon, and Canada has the Bay of Fundy, but aren’t there other deserving candidates in both countries? Not to show any disrespect to our Italian friends, but aren’t the geysers of Yellowstone more impressive than the dead volcano at Vesuvius?
The very fact that Niagara Falls is out of the running for this contest makes it an irrelevant list. If you’re going to run a competition for the world’s greatest natural wonders then all of those wonders should be included and there should not be a cap on the number of entries per country. These are the world’s wonders we are rating and the nation that contains the wonder should not be considered in the voting process. The way the contest is set up now brings in a political element that simply should not be there.