Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
The Dead Sea (above, a boater rowing in Israel
and Jordan, has received low ratings on past Destination Scorecards, Tourtellot said.
The sea is one of 28 finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature contest, announced July 21, 2009.
When the final cut is made in 2011, the new world wonders may either be overrun with damaging tourism or become better-managed destinations, Tourtellot said.
"It depends on the stewardship ethic in those places. In New Zealand the stewardship ethic is high. In Abu Dhabi it's totally clueless, and you've got everything in between."
Photograph by Frank and Helen Schreider, NGS Image Collection