Wondrous win as Table Mountain claims New7Wonders of Nature spot
Celebrations erupted at the V&A Waterfront tonight (Friday, November 11) as Table Mountain was named a New7Wonder of Nature following a three-year battle in the race to choose the world’s seven most wonderful natural sites.
Table Mountain can now carry the title Official New7Wonder of Nature after hundreds of millions of votes were cast in this global competition.
It was a nail-biting finish for Table Mountain, following an announcement just five days before the end of the race that the site was not in the Top 10 list and would need to wrestle for a top 7 spot.
Table Mountain Cableway’s Chief Executive Officer Sabine Lehmann, and Campaign Manager Fiona Furey, had the honour of announcing the Top 7 places, listed in alphabetical order, that was released by the New7Wonders Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland.
Table Mountain was named along with the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo and Puerto Princesca Underground River.
After three years of intense campaigning, an unprecedented number of votes and support from South Africans and visitors alike, Table Mountain will now take its place in the history books of the world for the true wonder that it is.
“This is an incredible moment for us. Our mountain, which we all cherish, is now officially recognized as one of the marvels of the environment. We have long known this to be true and some might even ask why we need this proof if we already knew it. It is because Cape Town is a symbol. It is a symbol of permanence in a world that is full of change. It is a symbol of the heritage that we are privileged to have. And it is a symbol that reminds us that we are privileged enough to live in an incredible country with incredible assets, giving us hope for the future,” said Mayor Patricia de Lille.
After hosting a successful Soccer World Cup last year, and Cape Town having recently won World Design Capital 2014, South Africans can be proud of yet another incredible achievement for our country.
“What an amazing feat for South Africa,” said Lehmann. “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Table Mountain and the celebrity ambassadors - from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Springbok Rugby team to all the journalists, musicians, comedians, actors, politicians and sports stars who campaigned on our behalf. Your voices were heard and it is because of you that Table Mountain’s natural assets have been acknowledged in this popular election.”
The marketing effort that has been put behind the campaign has generated more than R35.2 million worth of exposure for our mountain, raising its profile globally and generating massive good will toward South Africa. The campaign has also introduced an estimated 10 000 school children to email and opened their eyes to the power of the Internet.
Social media growth for the campaign has also been significant in recent months. Traffic to the Vote for Table Mountain website has increased by 350% in the last month; Facebook fans have shown a 220% increase over the past three months; and Twitter followers have increased by 96% over the past three months.