Letter on New7Wonders and the Maldives

To Whom It May Concern,

New7Wonders welcomes the vibrant debate and enthusiastic discussion about the participation of the islands of the Maldives in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, and considers this a reflection of the democratic discourse that is at the heart of Maldivian society as well as of the global New7Wonders movement.

The presence of the islands of the Maldives in the voted and selected group of 28 finalists is a source of great pride for many Maldivians and fans of the Maldives, and New7Wonders has received many messages confirming this in the past days. Each of the 28 Finalists have qualified from over 440 participants from over 220 countries – more countries than participate for the World Cup and for the Olympics.

In the case of the Maldives, as with any of the finalists involved in the global campaign, New7Wonders can confirm that it remains open to working with any appropriate entity or body that has a dynamic and enthusiastic vision to support the islands of the Maldives.

In news this week that benefits all finalists, the extraordinary positive opportunity provided by participating in the New7Wonders of Nature has been further confirmed by a third independent study from Korea. These studies are not commissioned by New7Wonders, are entirely independent and objective, and reveal the following headline facts:

  1. Study published by Pearson of London in April 2010: US$ 5 billion overall in economic, tourism and brand image values for the participants and winners in the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World campaign;
  2. Study published by Grant Thornton of South Africa in April 2011: US$ 1.012 billion each in economic and employment value for the first five years for being successful in the New7Wonders of Nature;
  3. New study published by JDI of South Korea in May 2011: up to US$ 1.837 billion each per annum in economic benefits for being successful in the New7Wonders of Nature.

Concerning the use of the name “Maldives”, New7Wonders considers any possible action against the use of the name unenforceable and an avoidable waste of public money. It is also a worrying indication for the rest of Maldives society and business that the corporatised MMPRC agency is trying to take ownership and control of the Maldives name that is shared by everyone. However, should this matter be pursued blindly despite its unfounded rationale, then New7Wonders will not hesitate to consider alternative names or designations for the islands of the Maldives ongoing participation in the campaign – perhaps even inviting public opinion to suggest ideas. The beautiful islands and splendid atolls of the Maldives are the true potential natural wonders, even under another name.

To forbid people from voting for the islands of the Maldives, as the MMPRC agency wants to do, is the same as Mubarak when he used to forbid voting for certain parties in Egypt – and as with Egypt it is the people’s choice that must count in the end. New7Wonders defends the right of the committed, positive and enthusiastic voters from the Maldives and the world, who have voted for the islands of the Maldives in the past, and towards those keen to vote for the islands of the Maldives in the future.

The MMPRC agency, which is by statute a money-making corporation, should not waste any more resources and time issuing defensive and self-justifying statements. New7Wonders now urges it to move on and focus its energies on its important mission of delivering the necessary increase in economic value for the Maldives for which the MMPRC agency has been created and for which it will be judged. New7Wonders will continue with its own mission, honouring the will of the worldwide fans, with the islands of the Maldives (if necessary re-named) as an ongoing worthy Finalist in the New7Wonders of Nature. Both these can and will happily coexist without affecting each other.

Eamonn Fitzgerald is the Head of Communication at New7Wonders

All letters are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write a letter, please submit it to [email protected]


48 thoughts on “Letter on New7Wonders and the Maldives”

  1. Amazing - New7Wonders lectures the little people about democracy!! Did you know you can buy votes for his "democratic" competition.

    As for wasting money - I don't think so, we have just saved a fortune pulling out. Lucky escape, that is clear to see now.

  2. Oopps - You just made a big mistake Fitzgerald. "MMPRC like Mubarak?" = he was the best friend of our previous dictator. Do your homework - idiot.

  3. After reading this article I feel the decision to get out of this competition is absolutely right.

  4. Who are these people? Who the hell is Fitzgerald? Saying they might re-name Maldives, this country does not belong to them. And when a democratically elected government opts to get out of a scam like this,these people better respect it. What an outrageous thing to say that they might re-name the country.

  5. Who the hell are these people to want to rename our country? Go back to your Swiss ski resort Bernard Webber and take your sorry competition with you

  6. here is how I see it:

    money making MMPRC is jealous of N7W so the try to kick them out and threaten to sue if N7W uses Maldives name

    N7W says it is not for MMPRC to stop people voting and if MMPRC are crazy enough to sue about the Maldives name then N7W will do an opinion poll to give a name to the ISLANDS (nature) not the COUNTRY (politics)

    country name does not change (anyone who thinks that is just STUPID)

    maybe name for the natural WONDER of the ISLANDS is changed, so voting can continue (we are no longer a dictatorship!)

    all because money making MMPRC wants a fight to cover up for its own real scams (did you see the MMPRC bank account is in New York and not Male...?)

  7. New7, Jam it, do you get that, JAM IT! Maldivians will take you to JAIL! They will damage you and your name, with a savage ferocity. They will make the whole world believe that all involved in your campaign are in the same category of evil as Slobodan Milosevich, this is their speciality, don't you damned well get that! Back off before you are HURT badly!

    Yes, they are beautiful soulled and trusting, but if hurt, Maldivians are capable of taking vengeance and inflicting real damage on the toughest. They can be ruthless!

    And I am going to come after you PUNKS if you don't back off I am going to call international fraud agencies!

    The people of the Maldives are my people too, if you hurt my people, I am going to hunt you down to the ends of the earth, BACK OFF!!!

    Not that Maldivians need outside help to be ruthless if they are pressed.

    You are going to see the other side of these gentle, trusting, big dreamy eyed little Maldivian Angels and you are going to get the shock of your scammy, cheap, shallow life.


  8. Ben u need to relax, go for a swim... I agree with Omar. Of course the country name is Maldives and this will never change and n7W are not saying it will. They are saying if profit company MMPRC wants to own the name Maldives then n7W will ask for suggestions for a geographical name. Go back to your school textbooks for one example: country name UK, geographical name British Isles. So let MMPRC keep ownership of the name Maldives, and let our beautiful islands stay in the voting under a new geographical name. Everyone is happy!!!

  9. I agree that this looks like we are back under dictator. Except befor our dictator was from Maldives. Now our dictator is Simon Hawkins, Lord of MMPRC, maybe a Brit or Yank. Is he the new colonial chief of Maldives? Maybe he wants to change the name to the ISland Kingdom of Hawkins??!! HAHAHA  Seriously: Hawkins, MMPRC and everyone else who does not want to be part of new7Wonders - just leave us alone. Dont tell us what we can or cannot vote for. You live your life I will live mine. This is still a free country right??!!

  10. haala If you support this campaign so much, you fork out the bill for it, but Maldivian Government paying for it equals Maldivian people paying for it, and if that happens, you can give me your effeminate sounding little sarcastic "relax go for a swim " remarks all day long but we'll see to it that noone is going to relax, and noone is going to be worried about swimming...

    btw: no **** tells me what to do... especially not some puncy sounding coward who can't even communicate with me using their own name because they are too afraid to face me.

  11. haala you can give me your effeminate sounding little sarcastic “relax go for a swim ” remarks under a cowardly pseudonym all day long but if maldivian ppl end up paying for this your snide little relaxed, suave manner won't stop us from lashing back at the campaign and those who pushed it onto the Maldivian people

  12. Omar, ref the bank account in US for the MMPRC, it is actually in the name of the MMA and is there purely for international transactions, a holding account for others to deposit money into, nothing illegal and There is nothing in it either.
    Were you also complaining about the high fees. Well, ITB and WTM will cost you 3000 dollars to exhibit per show minimum, but MMPRC charge the princely sum of 500 dollars. The cheapest way to travel to any fair is to go with The Maldives, FACT!

  13. Ben Ben Ben - are you drinking?? thats not cool here in Maldives. Also when you tell us about your love for Maldivians it sounds a little creepy to me. I hope u r not some old perv, visiting here like Gaugin did with the Pacific island young girls...

    Back to the facts of the matter. n7W are not asking gov for money. not asking you for money. let all of us who love Maldives the true wonder be free to live our own choices and be free to vote. And you can be free not to vote and to live your choices, whatever these are 😉

  14. haala,
    Great speech, what is the solution then? What exactly would you call this country with out using the name Maldives, do tell???
    You have enough hot air to blow up the New7wonder ballon!!!

  15. j l m, Omar and Haala,
    Let,s rename the country MATATOLAND !!
    Thats what you want, right?!!!

  16. haala: Don’t drink…don’t touch it, fairly stereotypical, no, racist perception isn’t it, to think I would drink because I am a Westerner? And I don’t give a rats whether you or any body thinks I am cool or not, motivated by less superficial concerns.

    As for loving Maldivians, well damned right I do. I have 4 beautiful Maldivians write here whom I love more than anything in the world, they are my wife and my kids haala, and they are from the one of the largest families in Male,’ so wait till they read you think that they, my Maldivian family are some naive’ Pacific Island young girls, man you are going to lose a hell of a lot of popularity for your campaign! nice work! For the fact that you think that a man who loves his family is creepy I really rather sad for those connected to you.

    But if what you say is true, then enjoy your campaign, I just don’t want to see anybody hurt, I mean it.

  17. The tone of this conversation has become petty to the point of being childlike, if what you say is true, enjoy your campaign, you have a beautiful country which already is one of the wonders of the world whether Eamonn and New7wonders thinks it is or not... I am not going to allow myself to be reduced to talking like a child anymore tonight as I have to get busy but please do not ever bully money out of the people of the Maldives who cannot afford it, and we can be civil...

  18. Btw, these guys pretend to be from Switzerland, but they are actually based in Panama.
    Point made!!

  19. Hello. I am Korean. My country also made a bid on the stupid voting campaign. I have been reading N7W-related articles from all over the world for more than two years. I don't know much about the entire situation Maldives is in now. But I can tell you these.

    The new study from South Korea that Mr. Fitzgerald quoted above is just a a crap, by no means a reliable independent study.

    First, the head of JDI (Jeju Development Institute) is the governor of Jeju Island,one of high-profile figures deeply involved in the N7W campaign in our country, which means that the study was implemented under pressures from the government office. "Independent"? lol.

    Second, even JDI admitted that their estimates do not include many crucial factors and have many limits.

    Third, the study is 100% based on the numbers the N7W has presented: its only source is the N7W-commissioned statements about economic effects. This holds true of Example 1 above (i.e., Prof. Kotler's book) as well; if you see it, you will recognize that all date references used to prove the N7W's claims on economic effects in the two-page fragment are from the N7W itself.

    Fourth, please look at tourism data from authoritative organisations such as UN, UNESCO and OECD--you can call them independent studies, can't you? Then a glance at them will clearly show you that N7W campaigns had little or no impact on the increase of international tourists in each participant country. Everybody knows (even those who actively participated in the campaign) that the voting is stupid and decided by population and the condition of communication environments. Which country gets crazier is the major factor to win the game. Then who's gonna take the award serious? Who's gonna remember winners and want to visit them? My point is that the campaign won't boost any significant international attention to participant locations.

    Some of you may not be able to trust the government. Neither can I as regards many politicians and government officials. But I hope that your legitimate critical stance toward the government won't end up allowing the N7W to fool you.

  20. Minivan News should not encourage this Fitzerald guy and publish his nonsense on this website.

  21. Ben. Please allow me to apologise. I have read my last message again and your reply and I realise I was out of order. Sorry. Please forgive me. I was blinded by your anger, but this is no excuse.

    Please also understand where I am coming from on this. I am mad as hell (not with you) that some new head of MMPRC is throwing us into this crazy fight with n7W. I totally respect that you or anyone else does not want to get involved in n7W. I totally respect (but do not agree) that the government does not want to invest in this (although many other countries are), but it is also clear that n7W never did ask the government to spend anything. What we should all allow - you included please Ben - is for those who DO want to be involved in n7W here in the Maldives, as people, as workers, as politicians, as businesses, should be free to do so. We are now, praise be, a free society.

    Part of me is also scared that mercenaries such as Hawkins are taking over the direction of such an important organisation as MMPRC and even claiming ownership of our "Maldives" name. Sorry but that does remind me of the bad days. Please let us now use our most important day, Friday, to seek peace, and allow those who want to be out of this to stay out, and those who want to be in this to stay in.

  22. Eammon, a chara,

    How about cutting us silly wee ignorant people here some slack huh?

    Let's make a deal - you rename the Maldives; and we will rename Ireland Little Britain. Would you like that?

    For a communications director you sure lack the gift of the gab, don't ye?

    Wonders will never cease!

  23. Hi Guys,

    I'm a Korean and I have an exact copy of the study performed by Korean institution that Fitzgerald mentioned. I'll tell you the truth. In the paper, Researcher, Taeho Go ([email protected]), acknowledges the limits of his study as follows.

    Shortfalls in Researcher’s own words:

    1.All translations are mine.
    2.Contents that have little to do with the major points—for instance, wishful remarks or suggestions of tourism policies—are excluded from the original text.

    - Direct surveys on foreigners and other tourist groups for tourist demands should be done for a more precise estimation, but we couldn't do due to temporal and financial restrictions.

    - Since there was no New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign before, my study used the estimated results from the New 7 Wonders of the World campaign [held in 2007] to compute the net rates of tourism growth, which are subject to some limits.

    - There is a notable difference between the two campaigns in terms of the degrees of the attractiveness of the two campaigns. Therefore, when based on the old campaign, the estimated net rates of tourism growth can be different from the actual ones that will result from the new campaign.

    - Jeju Island is different from such objects of analysis as Jordan and India in terms of accessibility and surrounding tourism markets. Therefore, the net rate of tourism growth in Jeju during/after the new campaign can be quite different from expectations.

    - The estimated predictions of this study only rely on estimated results of past examples (those from the New 7 Wonders of the World campaign). Therefore, they may not be similar to actual results in terms of the magnitude of effects and their duration that are susceptible to advertisements and tourism policies after the campaign.


    Why am I telling you this? I think that the Maldives need to know the exact value of this study and its limits when arguing with Eamonn Fitzgerald. I'm sure that Mr. Fitzgerald does not know Korean, but your government can easily find a good translator for this paper. You can download the copy of the research paper at http://bit.ly/lLj92q .

    I also want you to know that the chairperson of JDI is Jeju Governor who leads the New 7 Wonders campaign in South Korea—for more about this, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/no7wonders/ .

    Good luck, Maldives!

  24. Haala,
    Read the original statement by the govt. And MMPRC. The reason they with drew is because they realised it was a scam and n7w were demanding rediculous sums of money without prior warning. They have saved a fortune for the country that is all. 90% of the other comments seem to understand this.

    The cabinet made the final decision, not the MMPRC. All the decisions in the MMPRC are made by the Board and they are 100% Maldivian, that,s the reality. You seem to think you have a license to personally attcak whom ever you wish without consideration or the whole facts with this media, look at the other comments, especially poor Ben.

  25. Tonio from Korea,
    I am a student from Spain and I am researching n7 w and their impact on business and tourism. So far, every claim that they have made has not been proved. There is no evidence and the most alarming thing is that their winning logo has no recall. I have contacted all the Ministries quoted and they do not support the claims in the testimonial reports. These reports were paid for by themselves to make themselves look good.

  26. Dear Eamonn Fitzgerald, I am Maldivian and completely support your position in the article. As long as you are refering Maldives to the Maldives and not another place I dont see any wrong. To me this is just a survey carried out. For example I think previously surveys were carried out on beaches and resorts of Maldives along with other countries resorts and beaches and other countries by travel magazines, and sometimes Maldives had even got winning places. In the same way even Amnesty International prepare reports on Maldives and other countries on human right. Even CNN and other news agencies make news reports on environment and often Maldives is mentioned. It must be a problem only when wrong information is given for example on CIA website ethnic groups of Maldives is indicated as "South Indians, Sinhalese and Arabs". This is a totally wrong information which has been on the site for many years. Since 2005 I had emailed them at least twice to inform about the wrong information. CIA, an organisation reputed for finding information is wrong even in basics.

  27. And yes, Please do rename Maldives! The real name of Maldives is Dhivehi Rajje. Ask any Maldivian, they will all say yes.

  28. But there are not just 7 wonders. Everything in the heavens and the earth and in between are wonders for us to reflect of the existence of a Creator. Alhamdulillah.

  29. The country is going to the dogs, Who cares about 7 wonders...We need 7 miracles to save this country.

  30. Hi Maldivians and Juan from Spain,

    Please visit https://sites.google.com/site/no7wonders s if you want to know more about N7W. We've created and collected a lot of articles and we would like to share them with you all. Also, note that we have an online forum. You can discuss N7W's money-making campaign at http://no7wonders.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general. See you guys there!

  31. Dear Juan,

    "These reports were paid for by themselves to make themselves look good." That is exactly what's happening in South Korea now. And N7W is using those reports as proofs for their claims on N7W's "enormous" economic impacts.

    You know what? They have claimed and still claims that they are currently in partnership with UN. My friend e-mailed UN. Guess what. UN replied that they have no currently active relationship with N7W. When a Korean reporter asked about it at a press conference, N7W just said, "We are talking, looking forward to...exploring..." But they still insist on their website that they are "currently in partnership with" UN.

    Now I am trying to inform the entire world and how N7W is deluding world citizens into their international competition by planting false promises in their mind. I and my friends created a web space which we hope will help people around the world to exchange/share information about how N7W has tried to fool them.

    Indeed, Maldives gave me many clues to stealthy ways in which N7W has controlled each country. As reading what happened in Maldives, many things became so clear to me. One example is the lie N7W told to Maldives today. They may have thought that nobody would doubt their words about the study. They may never have expected some Korean guys to hear their lie and tell everybody that it is a scam. So I think it is important to get together to exchange/collect what we hear, see and know, and by doing so, provide to the entire world a clearer picture of N7W's deceptive strategies.

    If it is of interest to you, you may want to take a look at this website: https://sites.google.com/site/no7wonders/get-started?pli=1. Please feel free to leave your notes. Any useful information or help would be greatly appreciated.

  32. Oh sh!t. Ben Plewright is married to "one of the largest families in Male". Guys be careful when responding to Ben. His extended beyfulhu family in Male' could harm you. hehe.

  33. AF1219
    I am reliably informed that you work for them, the n7w.

    Going back to the basic point, the Cabinet pulled out because of lack of transparency in the voting and ridiculous financial demands.

    Don,t get deflected by these out siders!!
    It's a SCAM!!

  34. @fehuriri: yes, by not participating in your campaign...they are not befulhu but from the middle classes, Furuhani and some other names, including, at some point in the link, President Nasheed's people on one side,...and on other side married to Maumoon's family, BUT the point was, most decent Maldivians will not participate in anything they feel is detrimental to the Maldivians...

    No they will not harm you physically, they are above that, but they will harm you by refusing to co-operate in your campaign if they feel it is unethical...

  35. @haala: no worries well if you enjoy your campaign without hurting others you and I are at peace all forgiven forgotten...

  36. The bottom line depends on who,s bottom it is.
    Lets hope it is not Maldivian.

    By the way, after we win this, should we enter the Nigerian National Lottery?

    It's a Scam.

  37. @feruhidi: hehe you are so funny... Did I say that my family are violent, or even Be'fulhu? Yes, they can harm, but not through violence, but through the supreme example of their moral superiority, they are so vastly superior to violence, but they CAN harm through, refusal to participate in campaigns which are harmful for their ppl, AND... because the vast majority of them are very kind, genuine ppl, and are therefore capable of doing harm to the corrupt by shaming the corrupt through genuine, upright living. You see, they are decent middle class people, not the rich and the powerful, and they are the hope for a just Maldives.

  38. Shahid,

    You didn't go to our website, https://sites.google.com/site/no7wonders/get-started?pli=1, do you?

    The site has informations against N7W with saying "N7W is just a scam!"

  39. Where is Mr. Maleeh Jamal from MATATO now!.. Is he still trying to revive this campaign and send more dollars out of the country to this scam..... What have these guys studied if they cannot use their brain properly.

  40. AF1219 - I owe you an apology, I thought you were someone else on this page.

    Very interesting web site indeed! So the Maldives & Indonesia are not alone. Even India got scammed & Korea!!!

    Very interesting and excellent research to convince any-one. Well done.

  41. Mr.Maleeh is thinking. Thinking a lot. He is a great thinker. A think tank. Not a fish tank.

  42. The big question?
    Are matato earning any money if they manage to keep us in this competition?


  43. Maldivian government should contact 'Le Iene' and 'Stricia La Notizia? program directors to expose this guy Frtizgerald. These are two world famous programs aired Mediaset Italy. They blow fo scams like this from all over the world. And believe me, they are good in doing it. Someone from the government should write to them about Fritzgerald and the rest will be handled by the program directors. They cover such scams from many countries.

  44. Get some intelligent people into tourism Ministry..they have got us into scams and last month reduced the rent of tow big hotels in Male' by 90% without realising it..


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