My World Heritage Passport App for Androids
We live in the world of technology and digital information. As everything, it also has its pros and contras but personally, I prefer look at the new ideas, including the My Heritage Passport application.
According to the UNWTO (United Nation World Tourism Organization), the most commonly accepted definition for tourism is „the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes.”
Then we can specialise it to UNESCO Heritage Tourism that is way more complicated than we would think. From different points of view we always meet the limitation that there is no generalised definition for heritage still, everyone heard about the World Heritage List.
Ashworth stated in his paper that heritage is actually should be considered as a process, since it is more close to an experience from one of the contemporary creations that is designed or created, destroyed and recreated or to serve many contemporary uses, both individual and collective.That means it is a type of activity in which pas is treated as a quarry of potential resources for the construction of contemporary products as a contemporary consumable experience and as a bequest to an imagined future.
In 1999, the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) created the International Cultural Tourism Charter, this was the first official paper to manage tourism and heritage together; the key principles of this new field were/are the following ones:
- Since tourism is among the foremost vehicles for cultural exchange, conservation should provide responsible and well-managed opportunities for members of the host community and visitors to experience and understand that community’s heritage and culture first-hand.
- The relationship between heritage places and tourism is dynamic and may involve conflicting values. It should be managed in a sustainable way for present and future generations.
- Conservation and tourism planning for heritage places should ensure that the visitor experience will be worthwhile, satisfying and enjoyable.
- Host communities and indigenous people should be involved in planning for conservation and tourism.
- Tourism and conservation activities should benefit the host community.
- Tourism promotion programs should protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage characteristics.
The UNESCO as organisation increased itself after World War II, 37 countries created the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and later other 20 joined in. Today there are almost 200 members.
The World Heritage List includes more than 1000 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. In May, 2014 the list increased with more than 20 new properties (like Van Nellafabriek in Rotterdam). Since August, 2014 there are 191 States Parties so it also increased radically.
In 2011, the first app for iPad and iPhone was created by HarperCollins Publishers about all the locations and descriptions of the World Heritage List. Since it was one of the first apps for UNESCO Heritage List, they also include a video demonstration.
Of course we can find several applications now for the UNESCO with locations, overviews and opinions but the My Heritage Passport was designed by a backpacker-programmer from Taiwan, and it is suitable for androids as well. Personally, I think it looks more user-friendly and it actually gives the opportunity to stay up-to-date.
From the main menu, it is easy to find all the needed information, since we can browse by year or country, reach the weather forecast and receive all the official news from UNESCO, not even mention that it is synchronised with all the blog posts from Google. The description of the app says:
In this application, you can find the latest images, blog posts, weather forecasts of every world heritage sites.
The images are obtained from Flickr API, the weather data are from weatheronline.com, and the blogs are from yahoo.com search API. I cannot guarantee the correctness of weather forecasts and the search results.
In this application, you can add your records, favorites, and subscriptions of the sites.
You can use these functions to record and plan your trips.
Even if the app came out only a few months ago, it is getting more known around travellers because this is the first one that collects not just the official information from UNESCO’s site but the blogs and individual opinions from Google.
- Rizzo, Ilde and Mignosa, Anna (ed.) – The Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage (2013.)