As the world marks 2018 World Tourism Day, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has called for deliberate protection of ancient monuments as tourists pay visits to such sites around the world.
According to UNWTO, the increasing attention being given to tourism as a major source of growth, employment and income for many of the world’s countries, particularly in emerging economies with its attendant huge number of visitors has made it imperative not to mismanage and put intangible heritage at risk.
“When mismanaged, overwhelming numbers of visitors can damage ancient monuments and put intangible heritage at risk.
World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of protecting World Heritage, and ensuring that tourism makes a positive contribution to the sustainable development of destinations and their local communities. This is especially relevant for this year, which is both the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the EU-China Tourism Year.
With the theme: ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’. UNESCO is working with the European Union to combat the challenges of managing tourism by developing ‘World Heritage Journeys of the European Union’, an online travel platform that encourages people to travel more sustainably, by staying at destinations longer and going beyond the major tourism hubs.
The platform, which was launched earlier this month and has been designed by National Geographic, provides comprehensive information on 34 World Heritage sites and their cultural attractions, experiences and stories.