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What does this mean for tourism? The sites below have always been known to seasoned travelers, but now these destinations are on the radar of a much broader audience. From first-time travelers to those wanting to enjoy a trip of a lifetime, the New Seven Wonders are a perfect opportunity for travel agents to put together packages that appeal to a wide segment of the population. Here is what you need to know about the New Seven Wonders.
Top Ways to Visit: A must-see for visitors traveling to Rio, there are several ways for clients to reach the statue. Visitors can travel up the mountain by train or car. Trains leave the base of the mountain every half-hour and the ride offers clients stunning vistas along the way. From the Corcovado train station, it is 222 steps to reach the statue, but panoramic elevators and escalators make the walk much easier.
Practical Advice: Visiting in the late afternoon or early evening allows for a spectacular sunset with some of the best views in all of Brazil.
Top Ways to Visit: Most tours of Rome include a Colosseum stop. Its location, in the heart of the Piazza del Colosseo, can also be reached by the metro line.
Practical Advice: Since this is one of the top tourist attractions in Rome, it’s best to get there early to avoid the lines. Also, for handicapped visitors or those needing assistance, two elevators were recently built to bring visitors to the second tier.
Top Ways to Visit: Most packaged tours of India include the Taj Mahal. For FIT travelers, the Taj is located a short distance from many hotels and a taxi can leave passengers at the ticket entrance.
Practical Advice: If possible, visit the Taj Mahal twice once in the early morning and once at sunset. There are no crowds in the morning, which affords peaceful tranquility as well as excellent photo opportunities. At sunset, the colors of the marble change from pale pink to brilliant white according to the sun’s position in the sky.
Top Ways to Visit: Located 45 miles northwest of Beijing, Badaling is the most common section for tour buses. Visitors should be prepared for large crowds, even early in the morning and on weekdays. A cable car operates here to ease congestion.
Practical Advice: For FIT clients (pre-packaged tours all visit Badaling), try one of the more remote, less touristy sections of the wall. Simatai (60 miles northeast), Huanghua (40 miles north) and Jinshanling (56 miles northeast) are all open to tourists and are much less crowded.
Top Ways to Visit: Make sure to book a guided tour. There is so much history and information that a full experience cannot be done on one’s own. Various walks and climbs reveal literally hundreds of buildings, tombs, baths, funerary halls, temples, arched gateways, colonnaded streets and rock drawings.
Practical Advice: Travelers should take advantage of Petra by Night, in which 1,800 candles are lit after the sun sets. Walking through the Siq to the Khazneh following a candle-lit path and enjoying the flute played by a Bedouin at the Treasury, is one of the most spectacular travel experiences imaginable.
Top Ways to Visit: For adventure enthusiasts, there’s only one way to visit Machu Picchu and that’s by hiking the Inca Trail. Many packaged tours include porters, camping equipment and food. For those who wish to exert less physical energy, Peru-Rail, the company that operates the Southern Railways, offers train service to the top.
Practical Advice: The site is located on the highest part of the eastern Andes and thus altitude sickness can be a concern (the altitude ranges from 6,000 to 12,500 feet). For those planning to hike the Inca Trail, it’s advisable to spend at least a few days in Cuzco to get acclimated.
Top Ways to Visit: Most American visitors will buy a pre-packaged day-trip tour from Cancun, which takes about two to three hours each way. The tour buses tend to get there around 11 a.m., which makes the site very crowded, so it’s a good idea to stay overnight near the site and visit first thing in the morning.
Practical Advice: The site can get very hot during the summer, so be sure to tell clients to pack a lot of water and stay hydrated. For those prone to heat exhaustion, visiting in the cooler months is advisable.
1. The Acropolis of Athens, GreeceThe temples located here, especially the Parthenon, are recognized as some of the best symbols of ancient Greek civilization in the world.
2. Alhambra, Granada, SpainThis 9th-century castle is renowned for its stunning frescoes and is considered one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in the world.
3. Angkor Wat, CambodiaOne of the most important monuments in Southeast Asia, Angkor Wat is one of the largest sacred temples in theworld. It is known for its intricate ornamentation and well-preserved beauty.
4. Statues of Easter Island, ChileDiscovered on Easter Sunday, 1722, the origin of the collection of 82-foot-high stone sculptures still remains a mystery to archaeologists and historians, although it’s believed to be of Polynesian ancestry.
5. The Eiffel Tower, Paris, FranceVisited by millions of people every year, it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions not only in France, but in Europe.It was the tallest man-made structure until the EmpireState Building was built.
6. The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, TurkeyBuilt during 532-537 A.D., this monument is a museum that attracts both Christians and Muslims. Architecturally, the massive dome has been used as a model for mosquesfound throughout the world.
7. Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, JapanDating back to 794 A.D., the palaces and temples of Kyoto were the residences of Japan’s emperors and shoguns for more than 1,000 years and are considered one of Asia’smost cherished cultural sites.
8. The Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, RussiaBuilt as a residence for Ivan I, the Kremlin was the official residence of the Czars until the 1917 Russian Revolution. Today, it houses the president’s office.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, GermanyVarious architectural styles make this castle appear as ifout of a fairytale. Its beauty is enhanced by thesurrounding mountains and lakes.
10. The Pyramids of Giza, EgyptThese are the only remnants of the original Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The sight has attracted visitors from around the world who marvel at its engineering and beauty.
11. The Statue of Liberty, New York City, New YorkGiven to the U.S. by the French government, the Statue of Liberty has long since been symbolic of America’s belief in freedom and independence.
12. Stonehenge, Amesbury, United KingdomLike many wonders on the list, the origins of this creationare not known. Each stone weighs around 50 tons andtherefore it’s considered an engineering and architectural marvel.
13. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, AustraliaMany associate Australia with the famous architecture of the Sydney Opera House. The “sails” are instantly recognizable the world over, as is the music heard inside.
14. Timbuktu, MaliIn the 12th century, Timbuktu was at the crossroads of the four most important caravan paths supplying the Arab world. Today it remains a popular tourist destination in Africa.