Taking place in Helsingør, Denmark the meeting prepared for the launch of the first sustainable travel website for World Heritage. The initiative is co-funded by the European Union.
The World Heritage Journeys of the European Union platform showcases a selection of sites based around four thematic journeys – Romantic, Royal, Underground and Ancient Europe. Each journey features 8-9 World Heritage sites, with almost 20 European Union countries involved. It is the first time that so many World Heritage sites have worked together from across Europe to develop a dedicated online platform for travellers. It aims to address overcrowding and seasonality issues by encouraging people to travel more regionally and stay longer.
At the meeting held on 19-20 June 2018, the participants met to discuss marketing and promotion activities for 2018/2019 and beyond. The World Heritage sites also addressed concerns relating to sustainability, seasonality, destination management and community engagement. This was the 9th meeting of the sites since 2017, and the project has already proven to foster better collaboration and best practice sharing between the sites. UNESCO has formed a partnership with National Geographic to produce the online platforms for the World Heritage Journeys of Europe. National Geographic reaches over 730 million consumers around the world each month and it will use its resources to create detailed guides to the sites for travellers. The guides will include authentic storytelling with featured local experts and promote local attractions and stories.
2018 is the Visit EU-China Tourism Year, and the World Heritage Journeys project will be rolling out marketing and promotion strategies across China to promote sustainable travel to the 34 participating World Heritage sites. The workshop also addressed opportunities relating to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
The workshop was hosted by the Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand World Heritage site and VisitNordsjælland, with the participation of 6 local municipalities from the region. The Par Force Hunting Landscape is part of the Royal Europe itinerary and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2015. The landscape reflects Baroque values and the European designs of the 17th and 18th centuries that changed the way generations influenced the natural environment.
The World Heritage Journeys of Europe platform will be officially launched via the website and social media channels. The project has been made possible by a grant from the European Commission (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) to UNESCO.