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WHS Traveller "New visits" in 2017

Author Solivagant
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#1 | Posted: 31 Dec 2017 04:41 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Last Jan I published a spreadsheet of the number of new WHS visited each year across the previous 12 years by WH Travellers keeping records on this site – See http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=2079



Enhancements to the site during the year will enable these figures to be calculated automatically in future but won't cover the 2017 calendar year. I have therefore put together a list of the "Visited" totals of WHS Travellers on Dec 29 2016 (from Wayback machine) and Dec 30 2017 (as on this Web site) to generate figures for "Added in 2017". All the previous assumptions and caveats regarding the numbers apply.

See - www.worldheritagesite.org/2018visits.xls

My impression is that we have more "high rollers" on the Site this year than in previous ones! 14 travellers have added over 50 WHS to their "visited list" and the highest was 80. Mr and Mrs Solivagant added 52 and 63 respectively BUT, our long history of travelling meant that this included a relatively large number of previously visited new "2017 inscriptions" - 9 each in our case. Being retired, we were also able to spend 80 days "on the road" across 6 trips. So, if we remove the previously visited new inscriptions, we have an average of 1.8 and 1.4 "days travel per new WHS" respectively across the year.

I guess one could achieve a higher "hit rate per day of travel" if one concentrated on "hot spots" but I would have thought that an average of c1.5 days per new WHS was a reasonably high planning target across a year - which would still mean as many as 120 days travel in order to reach 80 new site visits!! Visits to many parts of the World wouldn't permit even this average to be achieved. Nor is it available of course to the "average" working and career/family minded traveller for whom 20 WHS and 30 days travel are probably a more reasonable target by making full use of annual leave, weekends and National Holidays!

So, our personal objectives and situations are all different, and there is no particular "merit" to be gained from visiting a lot of WHS. This isn't a "competition" - but it may be of interest to know what others are doing!

There is also the issue of course as to how many WHS one can reasonably "cope" with in a year in the sense of getting full value from the visit. Gaining such "Value" requires time to be spent both before and after a visit which is as important, (if not more so!) as the visit itself! And too many visits in a short time can finish up just overlaying each other and destroying the value to be gained from all of them. "Slowly does it" may indeed be a better strategy than rushing on to the next tick (of which I have certainly been "guilty"!)

Author Jarek Pokr
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#2 | Posted: 31 Dec 2017 15:23 
Paul, quick remarks ....
How about visiting the sites previously that are decribed recently ? They are counted as visited right now although they have been seen some time ago and visiting a WH site is not equal each another, You can easily visit a lot of sites in one day in Europe while there are places when to see a site you should travel for a long time ...

Author Colvin
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#3 | Posted: 31 Dec 2017 19:46 
Unfortunately, what gets skewed in a study like this is that there may be many folks who have fewer than 200 sites who were also able to add many sites in 2017. I would guess the majority of members on your list who have visited more than 200 sites have already seen much of the low-hanging fruit in Europe and Asia, whereas those with lower numbers of sites visited can still pick up a lot on short visits. That said, there have been some impressive numbers of sites visited by travelers in 2017, as seen on your spreadsheet.

2017 saw my all-time high of 27 sites in a year, which is up from 16 in 2015 and 13 in 2016. I really enjoyed my visits to multiple sites in Ecuador and Mexico, as well as to sites in the US I finally made time to visit, such as the beautiful Redwoods. It was also good to get a brief visit back to Mediterranean Europe this past fall. Next year I hope to continue US and Canadian visits, hike the Inca trail, and gain some new sites in either Europe or Africa (or both). I don't know if a separate New Years thread will be created or not, but I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year, filled with great travel!

Author winterkjm
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#4 | Posted: 31 Dec 2017 21:32 
A "successful" year is very much subjective! I visited 7 new WHS in 2017 and 1 (more thorough) re-visit. In addition, 3 TWHS.

My revisit to El Pinacate was memorable because I finally saw the craters and lost a wheel cap in the process! We were also the only visitors to the park on January 1st for perhaps the first 2 hours, which was a special feeling to ring in the New Year. Olympic National Park was probably my most stunning visit of the year. My Summer trip with my wife to Denmark/Sweden, allowed for an in-depth exploration of Southern Öland, one of those hard to grasp WHS. It turned out to be one of the most pleasurable world heritage excursions I've ever had because I had so much time to appreciate all aspects of the expansive site. It certainly helped that I was living and visiting with my Swedish cousin on the island for a whole week!

What does 2018 hold? Visits to several of the new entries on the USA Tentative List, starting in a week (Brooklyn Bridge, re-visit to a frosty Central Park). A WHS re-visit (of sorts) to the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. In March, I'll be in Chicago for a Conference, which should allow enough time for me to explore the TWHS 'Early Chicago Skyscrapers' and produce the first review. Perhaps, even rounding out my visit with an excursion to FLW's Robie House. Summer is not booked yet, but the general plan is a trip to Spain and Portugal, which should pick up about 10 (or so) WHS. In other parts of the year, I may be able to sneak in a trip to New Orleans (Poverty Point), New Mexico (Carlsbad) + Northern Mexico (Paquimé), and/or Iceland. All said and done thats only about 15 WHS and about 5 TWHS! Maybe an additional WHS if Korea's 2018 nomination is successful this coming July.

Whether it be 5 new WHS or 50 WHS, safe and happy travels everyone.

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 1 Jan 2018 14:14 
My count for 2017 has ended at 28, one of the lowest in the past years (a different number than the list of Solivagant shows, maybe the wayback machine is wrong for a couple of weeks).
I generally aim for 30-35 new WHS, but I did not make it this year due to:
- Work commitmens (especially in the first half of the year): I "only" used 39 vacation days instead of 43-45.
- An especially low return on the new 2017 inscriptions (I had visited only 1 before)
- Giving preference to the "good" and more expensive WHS (such as Galapagos, Abu Simbel) over easy ticks in SE Europe en Northern Africa.
- Totally running out of easy weekend destinations in Europe (had to "do" Orkney and Pecs for example, 2 long trips for 1 WHS each)
- And of course my stupid mistake of forgetting to bring my drivers licence to a trip to the South of France (would have been 2 WHS extra!)

Author nfmungard
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#6 | Posted: 2 Jan 2018 03:40 | Edited by: nfmungard 
In 2017 I did some boosting via short weekend trips around Europe in order to reach 350 for our meetup in Gibraltar. This was after having made it to 300 at a Stuve Geodetic Arc in Lithuania on the previous years meetup. This year I am trying to get to 400 for the meetup in Bulgaria. So I am sticking to approx 50 sites a year on average for the last two years. Not 49 as your Excel would have it :P

Still, my focus is more on getting to see the sites I really want to see. This year I plan travel to Cornwall, Istanbul and Angkor, all sites that feature highly on my private to do list. I made my priority list and am working on that, even if it would mean to fall short on the arbitrary 50 sites a year target. Especially my big trips each will fall more on the 0.5 sites per day range than the >= 1.

Author meltwaterfalls
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#7 | Posted: 2 Jan 2018 08:58 
Happy travels for 2018.

I'm in the group happy and content with only a few new additions (though maybe now I should be double counting as my daughter is up to 16, giving her a pretty decent age to WHS ratio 1.7 per month and she was even awake for some of them!).

I think 2018 will also be a quiet year, may be the years will be for the foreseeable future, but I am happy travelling vicariously through the reviews on this website, even if I find less time to be fully engaged.

winterkjm, I have the Chicago Skyscrapers on my list of reviews I intend to write in the next few weeks, however it has been on said list for a few months, so you may well beat me to posting about it.

I guess you know Chicago reasonably well anyway, but I really like it there and the Robie House is certainly worth a visit, especially if you can go to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago as well which is just across the road. And if you are in the Northern City Centre the I can thoroughly recommend Pequods for the best deepdish pizza (tried and tested over many years by my lifelong Chicagoian friend and comes with the Meltwaterfalls seal of approval).

colvin 27 sites is an impressive haul for anyone outside Europe or Asia great work!

Author warwass
Registered
#8 | Posted: 3 Jan 2018 06:03 
I just had a look at my statistics and I just realized that I have visited 76 new sites in 2017; 7 new inscriptions that I've seen in the past. In total: 83 new ones on my list. There were also 26 I've visited for the second or third time, and 35 from the tentative list. Well. I had no any reason to stay longer than two hours in sites like Jelling, Christiansfeld, Hahal Me'arot or Holasovice... But I spent more than a day in Huangshan, Wuyishan, Paris or Petra... I spent 132 days travelling. But everywhere I go I'm taking my laptop, 'cos I can work from any place where Internet connection is.
My plans for 2018? Not so many new sites as in 2017. I count on 35, maybe 40. I'll start with Cuba in February.
All the best in 2018! And enjoy every trip and travel even when there's no any WHS.

Author joelonroad
Registered
#9 | Posted: 4 Jan 2018 16:17 
My wife (Shandos Cleaver) and I had a pretty good year for WHS visits - we managed 180 (including a couple of re-visits). We would've had a few more but unfortunately our dog got sick and we had to cancel plans for a few days in Nuremberg. I guess the spreadsheet missed us as we weren't registered at this point last year?

But I totally agree that it's not a competition at all. We travel full-time, so we have the time and freedom to do this. And of course we're just focusing on European sites since we're over here. I'd imagine by this time next year when we're back in Australia, our rate of acquisition will drop quite a lot!

We're hoping to get to the meet-up in Bulgaria later this year as well, and meet some like-minded travellers!

Author Solivagant
Registered
#10 | Posted: 4 Jan 2018 17:14 | Edited by: Solivagant 
joelonroad:
I guess the spreadsheet missed us as we weren't registered at this point last year?

You are in fact "listed" at the bottom of the spreadsheet - marked "No Hist" sorted together with others who didn't have a "full year" of records.

180 in a year is certainly "going it" even if you are travelling "full time". It represents around 2 days per WHS - but no doubt some WHS will have been given 2 or even more complete days. Have there been many days on which you saw no WHS at all and what has been the maximum in any single day? And how do you "prepare" and "conclude" the visits? Is it a matter of "revising" the night before for the coming day's WHS and "writing up" those you have just seen or do you try to stay several days ahead on "preparation" (helpful I would have thought to avoid those "closed" notices!!) Indeed - how far ahead do you plan at the "daily level"? As you have penciled in Bulgaria in Sept I presume you have some sort of macro plan at the weekly level or more which then gets firmed up at some point! And of course you have to find time to do your videos and generally cover the mundane matters of "living" on the road.

Author joelonroad
Registered
#11 | Posted: 5 Jan 2018 14:31 
Apologies, I got to the zeroes and stopped looking!

The most we've done in a single day is three - Monastery of Alcobaca, Batalha Monastery and the Convent of Christ in Tomar, all in central Portugal. They're all fairly close together and obviously similarly themed, so I combined them into one video as well. It was a long day (we left Lisbon around 8:30am and arrived in Coimbra around 6pm), but I felt like we gave each site enough time.

We've done two sites in a day a few times, but usually only for either logistical reasons, or if one or both sites are quite small. Eg while in Cologne last month, we visited the castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust in the morning, then spent the afternoon at the Cathedral. Natural sites and large cities usually take the longest to visit - we took two days to do the mines of Cornwall, and two days to do the Jurassic Coast in Devon & Dorset. And larger cities like Budapest, Vienna, etc usually require more than a day's filming, though we often save time by skipping on museums as we've often visited those cities before.

In terms of breaks, we usually try and take a full week off at least every couple of months. We had a period in July/August where we spent 10 days in Scotland, 10 days in Ireland (both NI and RoI), then a week in Manchester visiting relatives and a week housesitting in London where we only visited three WHS. That was probably our longest period of downtime.

My wife does 90% of the planning, as she's amazing at it. For 2017 we didn't have much of an overall plan, but we'd plan each day about 2-4 weeks in advance. For 2018 we've got a basic week-by-week plan for almost the entire year, though we haven't booked anything past about January 20th yet. Preparation is usually a mix of wikipedia, reviews on here, UNESCO summaries, official tourism board websites and other blogs we come across. I like to have an idea of what we're walking into, but at the same time to still be surprised! And yes, it's usually just revising the night before or the morning of - more than that and I'll start muddling the details!

Producing the videos is actually the easiest part, really! I'm working to a fairly set template, so it only takes an hour to edit together. It helps that I've done ~175 of them now, so when we're at the site I know exactly what footage I need. Today we went to Ravenna - picked up a hire car from Bologna airport at 10, drove to Imola and paid respects at the Ayrton Senna memorial, then drove to Ravenna. Thanks to preparation, we knew where to go, where to park, what we would find in each basilica. Including lunch, the whole visit took 4 hours and I didn't feel like we rushed (though admittedly we only visited 6 of the 8 monuments). Drove to our Airbnb about an hour south, which we'll use as a base for visiting San Marino tomorrow and Urbino the day after. Then back to Bologna the following day, drop off the car and get a train up to Milan for the Last Supper, then onwards to Turin!

Life admin eg haircuts, doctors visits etc usually happens when we have half-days. We mostly stay in Airbnbs so we often stay in and cook (though this varies by country and city).

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