The Maldives has decided to immediately and unilaterally withdraw from the New7Wonders of Nature competition because of the New7Wonders organiser’s demand for expensive license fees and sponsorship packages in order to compete meaningfully in the remainder of the competition.
“With regret, we are withdrawing from this competition because of the unexpected demands for large sums of money from the New7Wonders organisers. We no longer feel that continued participation in this competition is in the economic interests of the Maldives,” said Thoyyib Mohamed, Minister of State for Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Chairman of the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC).
The Maldives originally agreed to participate in the New7Wonders of Nature competition in early 2009 and paid a participation administration fee of $199. However, the details of the joint initiatives and escalating costs were not clearly outlined prior to signing. Recently, the New7Wonders organisers have repeatedly asked the Maldives to pay significantly more money, including:
A Platinum sponsorship license fee at US $350,000.
Two Gold sponsorship license fees at US $210,000 each.
The sponsorship of a ‘World Tour’ event, whereby the Maldives would pay for a delegation of people to visit the country, provide hot air balloon rides, press trips, flights, accommodation, communications etc.
license fee for a national telecom provider to participate in
New7Wonders campaign – later reduced to US $500,000 on appeal.
license fee for a Maldives based airline to display logo on
The MMPRC repeatedly asked the New7Wonders organisers if there was a way to stay in the competition without paying significant sums of money. The New7Wonders organisers eventually stated that the Maldives could host a “protocol visit” for a delegation of the New7Wonders organisers, in which the Maldives would incur “flights and logistical costs etc.” The New7Wonders organisers pointed out, however, that “in our previous campaign for the man made Official New7Wonders of the World, all the winners had highly successful World Tour Events” and added “you do need sponsorship to participate fully in initiatives such as the World Tour event visit”
While the Maldives has invested considerable time and effort in campaigning for the New7Wonders of Nature competition, the country has not spent significant sums of money on the campaign. After extensive discussions with tourism industry stakeholders, the Maldives has decided to withdraw from the competition with immediate effect.
The Maldives would like to note the press release from UNESCO dated July 9, 2007 which states: “Although UNESCO was invited to support this (the previous“New7Wonders of the World” competition) project on several occasions, the Organisation decided not to collaborate”
The Maldives further notes concerns raised by lawyers acting for the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism, in regards to Komodo Island’s participation in the New7Wonders of Nature competition.
Finally, the Maldives is perplexed with the recent inconsistent patterns of the rankings of the competitors at this stage of the competition and the lack of detailed information and transparency as to how this is calculated.
For more information please contact Mohamed Adam on +960 333 1826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org