XII.53 The Bureau noted that a report on the state of conservation of the site was provided by the State Party on 30 January 2002 and was reviewed by IUCN and ICOMOS. The Bureau also noted that since 1992 when the Pamukkale Development Plan was issued, a number of positive developments had occurred:
- Construction of transportation to the site: the road linking Pamukkale town and the plateau, which climbed through the travertine terraces, has been closed and alternative options are being considered.
- New access to the terraces is related to the alternative transportation options, which has yet to be resolved.
- Tourism establishments have been removed from the site and the last two hotels were demolished in 2001. This is considered one of the major successes of management of the site.
- Construction of a thermal water distribution network: the development of a thermal water distribution network is almost complete. However the new water distribution channels are visually intrusive and options to address this problem are being considered, including changing the position and level of some channels, or camouflaging the channels with vegetation.
- Forming new travertine terraces: it is recognized that the major attraction of Pamukkale for tourists is bathing in the terraces. Hence plans are being developed to form new travertine areas to cater to this demand.
- The report also noted that Pamukkale is part of the World Bank-financed “Turkey: Community Development and Heritage Project”, which commenced in 2000. The first activity under this project was an assessment of the 1992 Master Plan. The assessment concluded that there was an urgent need for the establishment of a proper site management system, together with site interpretation and presentation plan. A Pamukkale Site Management and Presentation Plan is currently being prepared by a joint Ministry of Culture and World Bank team.
XII.54 Although there is still some progress to be made, the Bureau noted that major problems have been resolved and dealt with and there has been a significant improvement in care of the site. Problems relating to the state of conservation of the pools and visitor management have been successfully resolved.
XII.55 The Bureau thanked the Turkish authorities for the detailed report and congratulated them on the measures they have taken to ensure the protection and management of the site. It requested that a report on the progress of the World Bank-financed project be made available and acknowledged the attempts to protect the site from tourist damage through the creation of alternative terraces for bathing. Furthermore, the Bureau urged the State Party to undertake full impact assessments before engaging in any new works, including further access/road construction. It suggested that the State Party seek international technical, scientific and other support to improve the state of conservation of the travertine terraces.