About World Heritage Journeys
World Heritage Journeys is an initiative by UNESCO, in collaboration with National Geographic and heritage and tourism managers, to showcase World Heritage destinations and help travellers experience them in ways that protect and support their outstanding values and the local communities that sustain them.
The programme began in 2016 with support from the European Union (EU) to develop World Heritage Journeys Europe, a project to support, connect, and promote 34 World Heritage destinations across the EU. It involved convening heritage and tourism managers from 19 EU nations through a series of capacity-building workshops and content marketing products and campaigns.
A scaled-down version of the programme was also developed in South Asia, with support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). World Heritage Journeys Buddha features three World Heritage sites in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, each of which represents an important phase in the development and expansion of Buddhism in Asia.
Programme Outputs and Goals
The core product is the VisitWorldHeritage.com web platform, which was designed as a scalable platform to publish rich, in-depth content about any World Heritage destination, including its history and significance, nearby heritage attractions and experiences, and stories about the people, events, and attributes that express and sustain the site's Outstanding Universal Value. Heritage and tourism managers and local experts help to produce the content, which is edited and curated by National Geographic and UNESCO to give travellers interesting and authoritative information and stories about World Heritage sites and surrounding destinations.
The goal is to raise awareness of the site and its heritage, and encourage visitors to stay longer in the destination, experiencing it in deeper and more authentic ways as recommended by locals.
Focus is given to lesser-known World Heritage sites that are off the beaten path, to promote sustainable and appropriate economic development based on the heritage and vision of the local community. For well-known sites that already receive many visitors, the platform provides insider knowledge to encourage visitors to explore the surrounding area and discover less-visited parts of the site in different seasons and times of day to avoid the crowds and enrich their visit with unique and authentic experiences.
In addition to VisitWorldHeritage.com microsites, the programme produces print publications, including a bookazine, videos, photo exhibitions, mobile apps, social media accounts, capacity-building workshops, familiarisation (FAM) trips, and marketing strategies and campaigns for World Heritage destinations. Explore the programme's media assets.
World Heritage Journeys for your Destination or Brand
World Heritage Journeys is unique in its dual focus on destination promotion and sustainability, and in its ability to convene disparate stakeholders to collaborate on both objectives, under the banner of UNESCO and National Geographic.
Sustainable travel and tourism are growing in importance as nations and international organizations strive to reach the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while conserving our planet's natural and cultural assets for future generations. World Heritage Journeys offers a solution for balancing development and conservation that engages and supports local communities and enhances visitor experiences.
Please contact us to bring World Heritage Journeys to your destination or to support its development around the world.