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Egypt’s The Great Pyramids gets nod as world’s leading attraction in 2007

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Hazel Heyer  Jan 17, 2008

(eTN) - The World Travel Awards (WTA) chose the Giza pyramids as the world’s leading attraction in 2007 during its fourteenth annual ceremony held at the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort and Spa in the Caribbean, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni revealed yesterday.

Conceived in 1993, the WTA acknowledges, rewards, and celebrates excellence in travel. Awards are especially coveted as the votes are cast globally by 167,000 fellow professionals from 198 countries.

Voted by industry peers, WTA is undoubtedly the world's most comprehensive awards’ celebration with trophies given in over 1,000 categories. Attended by top tourism executives, the events are highly regarded and well-established as a forum for bringing together many different aspects of travel and tourism in order to recognize achievements in these fields. The WTA is broadcast by the BBC World and other networks to over 254 million households around the globe making it sort of like the “Oscars of the travel industry.”

Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), was elated about the award. He explained that 167,000 travel agencies, tour and transport companies, in addition to tourism organizations in 160 countries across the globe voted for the pyramids of Giza through the WTA web site.

Hawass stressed this award is a strong response to claims by some individuals that the Giza pyramids should not be included in the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” a competition that was held July 2007 by an organization that has no connection to archaeology or tourism, he said. New7Wonders Foundation president and founder Bernard Weber and Amir Dossal, executive director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, presented plaques to the top finalists in a lavish ceremony held in Lisbon’s Benefica Stadium.

Egypt was vocal about its disapproval of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” The first-ever global election, the New7Wonders campaign, lists The Great Wall of China, Petra, The Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Machu Picchu, Chichén Itzá, The Colosseum (in Rome) and The Taj Mahal (in India) as the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Egypt, home to the Great Pyramids in Giza, the world’s famous ancient Wonder of the World, challenged the results.

Early in May 2007, Hawass challenged Weber’s group detailing in a letter to Koïchiro Matsuura, director general of UNESCO that the campaign has offended him, his archaeologist colleagues and the scientific institution who have dedicated their lives to the preservation of cultural heritage. He protested the selection was made by amateurs. Average men are neither scientific nor trained to judge what is or what is not a “World Wonder,” he contends.

Egypt’s The Great Pyramids gets nod as world’s leading attraction in 2007
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