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Developing an official UNESCO World Heritage Mobile application

UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection, preservation and conservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in the World Heritage Convention.

World Heritage is one of the most internationally recognised protective labels for heritage in the world. Consequently, World Heritage sites are visited by people from all around the globe, who often use their mobile devices during their travels. However, there is presently no official UNESCO World Heritage application showcasing our world’s cultural and natural heritage.

This project aims to strengthen the implementation of the World Heritage Convention by introducing every World Heritage property to a wide audience via a highly interactive mobile application with a particular emphasis on protecting our cultural and natural heritage for future generations.

Fund this project
Budget Proposed
US$ 500,000

1.5 years


Awareness-raising ● Conservation

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Currently, there are over 1,000 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. As popular travel destinations, World Heritage sites can have a great impact on local economic development and long-term sustainability.

With the adoption of the Strategic Objectives, the World Heritage Committee recognised the importance of promoting World Heritage properties through communication, education, and public awareness strategies (Strategic Objective “Communication” of the Budapest Declaration, 2002).

Currently, there are several unofficial World Heritage mobile applications on the market. However, these often do not convey accurate information, and many of them are behind a paywall. The World Heritage Centre, as Secretariat of the Convention, seeks to deliver correct information pertaining to the World Heritage List, while providing with a free World Heritage app access to the widest possible audience.

& Beneficiaries

  1. An interactive mobile application about World Heritage, easily accessible to a large target audience and which will be published on multiple platforms (Apple iOS and Google Android), is developed in order to promote a wide understanding of the World Heritage Convention and its global relevance.
  2. Basic information on the protection and conservation of World Heritage is provided by focussing on the main values for which these properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, while making it easy to understand, and encouraging its users to visit World Heritage properties.
  3. Users of the app experience flawless integration with several other social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Weibo, on which they can share their World Heritage experiences with their friends.


  1. To convey the message of the World Heritage Convention to a wide audience by improving knowledge and understanding of the concept of World Heritage and presenting information in a clear and concise way.
  2. To promote World Heritage sites via a widely available and easily accessible mobile application as an ideal companion to World Heritage sites as travel destinations, where people are invited to share their unique World Heritage stories and experiences with the global community.
  3. To provide synergies with other UNESCO Conventions, as users of the mobile application are made aware of this whenever a World Heritage property has an (in-)tangible connection to other Conventions relevant to the field of heritage, such as the 1954, 1970, 2001 and 2003 Conventions.


During its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), the World Heritage Committee highlighted the need to achieve an appropriate balance and foster integration between the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties and the pursuit of the sustainable development objectives.

The World Heritage Centre, through the World Heritage Cities Thematic Programme, takes part in UNESCO’s contribution to support the Members States’ implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, such as ‘Climate Actions’, ‘Quality Education’, and ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’.

In this framework, the World Heritage Centre being the Secretariat of the World Heritage Convention, is best positioned to promote the Convention through developing a sustainable official World Heritage app, in line with the World Heritage Committee decisions and the SDGs.


  • Month 1 to month 11: research and development
  • Month 12 to month 13: side event/ testing
  • Month 13 to month 17: updates; follow-up testing phase
  • Month 18: official launch


An estimated overall extra-budgetary funding of US$ 500,000 is foreseen for the implementation of this activity.

These funds will cover human resources, information research, consultation expertise, design and development of the app and mock-ups (both in-house and outsourced), testing, communication, translation in the two official languages of the Convention, marketing, printing of appropriate promotional information material and app updates.


A communication & visibility plan will be developed in consultation with the donor(s) and will include (but not limited to) the options below:

Visibility material

Placement / Event



News on the World Heritage homepage, with an icon dedicated to the project


WHC website: whc.unesco.org

Public Statistics for 2016: 13,340,000 visits

unique visitors

41,650,000 page views

Communication on all UNESCO Social Media platforms and on UNESCO’s YouTube channel






Public Statistics for 2017:


 : 5,800,000 impressions/monthly

: 55,527 subscribers
 : 1,269,448 subscribers

Approx. 13,000,000 targeted subscribers/endorsers


Logo, Speech, and

Apps displayed for testing

World Heritage Committee sessions

WH Committee members, Observers, NGOs, site-managers, press

Approx. 2,000 participants from 193 countries

Article(s) in the World Heritage Review


World Heritage Review & World Heritage Information


Approx. 20,000 targeted subscribers


Thomas Rigauts
Associate Project Officer
Europe and North America Unit
World Heritage Centre

Valentino Etowar
Associate Project Officer
Policy and Statutory Meetings Unit
World Heritage Centre