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World Heritage Site

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Blog: WHS Top 200: The Results

So here they are, the long awaited results of the 2016 Vote to determine which are the most valuable ones out of the 1031 inscribed WHS. In all 64 people voted, for a total of 946 different WHS. This turn-out is a bit lower than our last popular vote in 2014 for the Missing WHS which attracted exactly 100 voters. I guess the current excercise might have been a bit too labour intensive for some. 40 subscribers voted in both events.

Sharing the number 1 spot: Angkor

The highest ranked are all very well-known sites, that also have shown up in the final stages of competitions such as New 7 Wonders of the World: the Pyramids, Angkor, Machu Picchu. Only the strong position of Vatican City surprised me, higher even than Rome itself – it only gained momentum in the last week of the voting, maybe we had an unusually high number of Roman-Catholic voters in? In the earlier stages of the voting, Angkor and Pompei did really well.

How does this selection compare to the Community 200 we compiled earlier this year, based on a fair representation of categories? Only 85 sites got no votes at all this time, and a further 20 received only 1 vote. Among these bottom 105, (fortunately) there are no sites that we thought belonged to the Top 200 By Category. When we compare the 220 sites with a ‘Yes’ recommendation with the top sites of this vote, 44 are not included. Hard to love sites such as Vredefort Dome and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are among them. But to my surprise also Teide Volcano and Halstatt-Dachstein did not make the cut this time. Overall, natural WHS and pre-Columbian sites seem to have done worse.

When we look at it from the other side, 23 WHS have been chosen now that were relegated to a ‘Maybe’ earlier. These include for example Socotra and the Loire Valley. In general I'd say that the current 'popular' selection tends to lean more to WHS that people have visited themselves or know about from books/TV/media.

No support for Southern Öland (and 84 other WHS)

So what can we learn from this? I’d like to hear your opinion: I’ve opened a new Forum topic for discussions and further interpretations. Personally I believe a lesson for the future of the WH List could be taking a categorized approach as well. Maybe it’s time for a session where only natural WHS can be nominated?

Published 9 April 2016

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