World Heritage and Tourism: European Perspectives
The 7th seminar of the UNESCO Chair and UNITWIN-UNESCO network on “Culture, Tourism and Development”, organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne / IREST – EIREST, Association of French World Heritage Properties and ICOMOS France, will focus on the development of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe and their capacity to play a leading role in the sustainable and equitable development of the continent:
- How to build, from the European world heritage sites, a new European scale of significance, making it possible to identify transversal issues?
- Bearing this in mind, how to connect with other heritage or tourist mechanisms on a European scale (European cultural routes, European capitals of culture, as well as new tourist practices such as roaming)?
- How to develop hospitality for non-Europeans?
- Is there a new European approach to safeguarding and enhancing the heritage?
Today, Europe has a considerable number of properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In 2016, no fewer than 424 properties (out of a total of 1,052) are located on the European continent. Among these are the most important sites of European architecture and history and the most spectacular natural sites of the continent. The quality of its sites, the crucial role they have played in the history of their respective countries and of Europe as a whole, the very strong imagination with which they are associated, often give them a prominent place in the tourism of their country. Several of the most visited sites in Europe are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Versailles in France, the Tower of London in the United Kingdom, Rome’s Colosseum in Italy and the Parthenon in Greece – to mention just a few of the most emblematic sites – are not only major historical and architectural sites, but also places that attract millions of national and international visitors annually. These sites play a leading role for the development of tourism and thus the economy of their region and country.
Reflection seems to be necessary on the development of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe and their capacity to play a leading role in the sustainable and equitable development of the continent.