The UNESCO World Heritage Sites represent the most important places around the world that share our cultural and natural heritage. Numbering more than 1,100, these sites are in every corner of the world and visiting them is a must-do for many. This week travel writer Michael Turtle joins the show to talk more about these vitally important sites.
In 1972 the UN, through the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, began recognizing important sites around the world that they consider vital in order to maintain the cultural and natural heritage we have all inherited. Even though I haven’t even scratched the surface of visiting the nearly 1,100 sites in every corner of the planet, I have been to quite a few and want to add these important areas to my future travel plans.
Since its inception, UNESCO has saved cultural and natural treasures that would have been lost to time or neglect. They had their first test almost immediately, when Egypt’s plans to build the Aswan Dam threatened seemingly countless treasures from the time of the pharaohs. Working with a team of nations, they methodically cut and relocated the massive mountain monument Abu Simbel out of harm’s way and the precedent was set.
More than just very famous spots around the world, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites more importantly recognizes and thereby preserve lesser known sites that without this designation would have most certainly been destroyed. Today we’re talking all about these amazing places with one of the great experts on the matter, Michael Turtle.
Michael Turtle previously worked for a decade as a national radio and television reporter in Australia, at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Seven Network. In 2011, he became a full-time travel writer and blogger and has visited more than 75 countries. His travel blog, Time Travel Turtle focuses on the culture and heritage of destinations and has 250,000 readers each month. Michael also uses his social media following to engage on topics around travel and tourism and share his photography and videography. Since 2018, Michael has also worked with UNESCO on several projects to promote World Heritage sites to travellers, including the World Heritage Journeys of Europe and the World Heritage Journeys of Buddha. Michael also writes a weekly travel page in The Canberra Times and has contributed to many other publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Travel and Escape, and ABC Life. He has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows, where he shares his experiences and advice for travellers. To track Michael’s UNESCO progress please visit his dedicated World Heritage page.