5 Responses

  1. Katherine
    Katherine at |

    I have made 43 sites on the list (Yay!). I was in Old Quebec City twice – once in the early 80’s and again in the early 00’s. The difference was like night & day. In the 80’s, we were made to feel unwelcome. We spoke a few rudimentary words of french, but no one would speak to us when we were lost. The national park service rangers would not direct us to the entrance of the fort.

    In the ’00’s, everyone spoke English. Menu’s were written in English & French. There were sidewalk cafes and tour buses and cruise ships docked in the harbor. Our first trip really did not make us want to go back to visit. Our second trip was much more pleasant and I definitely would go back.

    However, the difference that 20 years and the active courting of American tourist dollars was quite evident to us.

    If you contrast Niagara Falls to Gulfoss, Iceland you can see what tourism will do. Look at the hotels, casinos and attractions next to the falls that have sprung up in the last 20 – 25 years. At Gulfoss (5 years ago), I was surprised that there only fence was a rope. There was a lone ranger station with a small exhibit and a building for the restrooms. Neither of these is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    In Quebec, I think tourism has made it better, in Niagra Falls, tourism has made it worse. I would hope that UNESCO would somehow help places preserve the sites as best as possible.

  2. Rapid Travel Chai
    Rapid Travel Chai at |

    The UNESCO list a great resource in my trip planning, often directing me to places that guide books give short shrift to, such as Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka which is overshadowed by elephant-laden parks to the south. I was the only visitor that day and had a blast with salt-covered feet to fight off the leeches.

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