Paphos will feature in a new EU web platform promoting sustainable travel to some of the most remarkable World Heritage sites in Europe.
The initiative is co-funded by the European Union and features 34 selected World Heritage sites spread across 19 EU countries.
The Department of Antiquities and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation announced their participation in the “World Heritage Journeys”, developed by UNESCO in collaboration with National Geographic.
UNESCO is now launching the web platform (https://visitworldheritage.com), and encourages people to ‘travel differently, travel deeper’, which means travelling beyond the major tourist hubs, staying longer and experiencing more of what the local region has to offer.
World Heritage Journeys launch will take place when UNESCO Paris Headquarters opens its doors to the public on 15-16 September for the celebration of the European Heritage Days.
“Our goal is to change how people travel. Staying longer in destinations, experiencing the local culture and its environment,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO.
“World Heritage Journeys” invites travellers to travel along four cultural heritage itineraries – “Royal Europe”, “Ancient Europe”, “Romantic Europe” and “Underground Europe” – which intertwine to tell fascinating stories of Europe's heritage and history.
The website has practical information and tools to support travellers in planning their European holidays based on local knowledge about the destinations’ cultural heritage.
World Heritage Journeys will also play a key role in attracting Chinese visitors to Europe for the 2018 EU/China Tourism Year, an initiative led by the European Commission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the European Travel Commission (ETC).
Director of digital development and travel programs at National Geographic Maps Frank Biasi, said: “With this local knowledge, the website encourages travellers from North America, China and other major tourism markets to travel differently and travel deeper and use the platform to inspire and plan their European trips.”
The Department of Antiquities and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation have been working in collaboration with UNESCO and National Geographic for over 18 months to develop inspiring and educational content to be featured on the platform.
UNESCO has decided to include Paphos in the cultural heritage itinerary of Romantic Europe, as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love (https://visitworldheritage.com/Pafos).
Combined with other World Heritage destinations of romantic nature, the objective is to highlight the significance of Paphos’ archaeological and cultural heritage, in conjunction with other local values, such as the ones embedded in the unique nature, gastronomy, and hospitality, encountered in the broader region.
The promotion of these assets, as a whole, will attract visitors, and contribute in the sustainable growth of the island, and most importantly the reinforcement of the relationship between heritage and society.