The Cliffs of Moher have lost out in a long-running competition to be named as one of the world’s new ‘Seven Wonders.'
The failed bid will result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential tourism revenue according to estimates compiled for the Irish government.
The Irish tourist agency Fáilte Ireland had predicted that visitors to the Cliffs would rise by up to 35 percent if it was recognized in the worldwide poll, conducted online by the Swiss based New7Wonders organization.
An independent audit forecast that Ireland would have benefited by up to €700 million in revenue over five years if the Cliffs were named as a natural wonder.
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Just last week, Irish football team boss and man ofthe moment Giovanni Trapattoni visited the Cliffs and described them as "marvelous."
Mayor of Clare and Councillor Pat Hayes expressed disappointment at the result of the online poll.
“At least more people than ever have heard of the Cliffs of Moher now,” said Hayes.
A Fianna Fail member of the Irish parliament has criticized the government for not doing enough to promote the Cliffs of Moher bid.
Spokesman on tourism and local Dail Deputy Timmy Dooley said: “The government failed to harness the potential of this great asset we have in Clare.
“The Government should have used our network of offices around the world to promote the campaign and if it had been properly co-ordinated and orchestrated at Government level, we would have had a far better chance.”
The 702 ft cliffs, already a major tourist attraction, were among 28 finalists in the global competition.
That figure was reduced initially to 14, with the Irish landmark failing to make that shortlist when first results were announced in Zurich.
The seven successful sites include the Amazon Rainforest, Table Mountain in South Africa and Indonesia’s Komodo Island.
Also named as provisional winners were Halong Bay (Vietnam), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Jeju Island (South Korea), and Puerto Princesa Underground River (Philippines).
The Swiss organizers will have the voting checked independently and verified before the winners are confirmed at a ceremony early next year.
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