Bruges has been selected as one of the 34 world heritage sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage Journeys, a brand new campaign set up by UNESCO and National Geographic with the cooperation of the EU and the participating sites. With this initiative, the partners want to promote world heritage sites in Europe specifically to the cultural tourist.
The basis for the campaign is a brand new website in English, French, and Chinese that is built around four themes: ‘Ancient Europe’, ‘Romantic Europe’, ‘Royal Europe’ and ‘Underground Europe’.
Bruges ended up in the theme ‘Romantic Europe’ together with the historic center of Vilnius and San Gimignano, the Mont-Saint-Michel, Pafos (Cyprus), the cultural landscapes of Wachau (Austria), Lednice-Valtice (Czech Republic) and the Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany). Representatives of the Tourism and Heritage Services of all these sites worked closely together at a number of international workshops.
The focus of the campaign is on sustainable tourism. M Rössler, director of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO: “Our goal is to encourage people to travel differently, to stay longer at one destination, to experience the local culture and to acquire a greater knowledge of the values of the World Heritage.
Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges: “Bruges is an international city that attracts visitors from all over the world, more and more often from distant markets that stop during a tour in Europe in Bruges. The slogan of the campaign ‘Travel differently, travel deeper’ fits in perfectly with our strategy to mainly encourage the added value seeker to stay in Bruges. The fact that we get the support of reputable partners for this offers opportunities that we did not have access to until today. “