Only two days are left to go before voting closes for the international New7Wonders of Nature competition – and only two days left to make sure that the Dead Sea is among the final top seven winners. The seven winning finalists are believed to need at least 300 to 400 million votes.
The Dead Sea is popular attraction for tourists from all over the world, not only for its low-UV sunlight and oxygen-rich air, but also for its healthful mineral-rich waters. The combination of the two are known to be useful as a remedy for psoriasis and other medical conditions.
“Winning this competition will improve Israel's tourism product and bring thousands of additional tourists into the country,” noted Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov in September.
“It will improve the economy and raise employment in the Dead Sea area and in Israel in general,” he added.
However, the water level in the Dead Sea has been dropping at an alarming rate of approximately 1.3 meters (four feet) per year, particularly at the northern end of the mineral-rich lake.
Ironically, the southern end has suffered from an increasing level of mineral salts, which push up the water level by some 20 centimeters (eight inches) annually due to manufacturing and mineral extraction by the Dead Sea Works factory.
Known as the lowest spot on the planet, the Dead Sea is also considered the world's largest natural spa, and one of Israel's national treasures. A joint submission to the competition by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, the Dead Sea shoreline is shared by all three and is a top finalist in the contest, which ends November 11, 2011.