Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Komodo National Park has increased since Komodo became a finalist in the New7Wonders of Nature competition, East Nusatenggara (NTT) Deputy Governor Esthon Foenay said.

"Up to August 2011, some 32,354 foreign tourists visited the Komodo national park while the number of domestic tourists who came to the island was 4,145, up from 2,955 in 2010," the deputy governor said here on Saturday.

Foenay had accompanied New7Wonders Foundation President Bernard Weber during a visit to Komodo Island on Thursday (Oct 27) together with former vice president M Jusuf Kalla who now also serves as a komodo ambassador.

if Komodo Island is selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, the local community could expect to enjoy great economic benefits as the island would then attract many more foreign tourists as did India`s Taj Mahal after the monumental building was named one of the New7Wonders.

In 1977, Komodo National Park was named a biosphere reserve by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

And in 1991, UNESCO named the island accommodating around 3,000 komodo dragons, a world heritage.

After the voting deadline on November 11, 2011, the New7Wonders Foundation will declare seven of the 28 sites named finalists in the ongoing New7Wonders competition as world Wonders of Nature.

Komodo needs around 30 million votes to make it to the New7Wonders list, he said, urging the Indonesian people to give their votes by typing Komodo on their cellphones and sending the word to 9818.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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