World Heritage Journeys of the European Union

Promoting Cultural Heritage Tourism Across Europe

  • Client: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Partners: The European Union, National Geographic, Old Town Creative + Interactive
  • Project Duration: June 2016 - Present

Project Description

UNESCO World Heritage Centre is leading a multi-national effort (funded by the European Union) to develop an innovative content marketing platform to support the preservation and promotion of Cultural World Heritage Sites across Europe. Solimar is honored to support this project, along with National Geographic Partners to leverage the media, travel, and brand assets of UNESCO and National Geographic to produce and publish content to inspire travelers to experience the rich cultural heritage sites of Europe. It will also engage heritage site managers, destination marketers, and tour operators to plan and execute programs to enhance the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of their destination and tourism products.

Solimar International will support stakeholder engagement and strategic destination planning activities. Through this engagement process, UNESCO-recognized outstanding cultural heritage sites will be integrated into a consumer-friendly platform ( and series of thematic routes for sustainable tourism development across Europe.

Major Activities

Solimar International is assisting the UNESCO/World Heritage Centre and National Geographic partners to:

  • Work with UNESCO/World Heritage Center to identify all possible World Heritage sites and destinations that fit within these selected route themes;
  • Organize workshops with stakeholders and Sustainable Tourism Committees to develop destination strategies and action plans;
  • Develop a strategy for the coordinated destination management and marketing for each route;
  • Design logos and brands along with specific guidelines for their use;
  • Develop a highly engaging web and mobile platform that will be the public face of the European Cultural Heritage Routes initiative;
  • Collaborate with UNESCO to select final indicators that enable Committee to monitor and evaluate progress and make adjustments as needed;
  • Develop a training program to fulfill capacity building needs;
  • Develop a network of travel trade partners, social media influencers, and travel media to help promote the cultural journeys, and participating WH sites; and
  • Produce and publish social media content to drive traffic to the site.


  • Carried out research on trends and travel preferences relating to heritage tourism in key source markets;
  • Developed the site criteria and selected the four routes, including sites and themes;
  • Increased partnership, cooperation and coordination among tourism stakeholders;
  • Developed strategies and action plans for the selected sites and routes;
  • Developed world-class branding and identity guidelines for each thematic route;
  • Developed a robust, scalable desktop and mobile MapGuide website featuring World Heritage Sites and Routes with media-rich itineraries and site profiles; and
  • Continued promotion of the website platform through the management of Visit World Heritage social media platforms.



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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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