Last month, UNESCO announced the latest 26 additions to the "World Heritage List" of important cultural and natural heritage properties around the world. Among the additions to the list were the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, ancient Rabat, Morocco, and colorful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A leading cultural tour operator, Bestway Tours & Safaris, has experienced growing consumer interest in traveling to World Heritage sites.
“Unlike on any other vacation, on our World Heritage tours, guests gain a deeper understanding of the historic cultures and connect with the people,” said Mahmood Poonja, "Chief Explorer" of Bestway Tours & Safaris in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
Bringing greater attention to World Heritage sites, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in Paris, which led to the creation of the World Heritage List, and, most unfortunately, some World Heritage sites, such as those in Mali and Syria, have been damaged by recent conflicts.
For California travelers interested in exploring some of the 962 World Heritage sites across the globe, Bestway’s World Heritage Tours visit many of them. For instance:
Columbia World Heritage Discovery
On this comprehensive 15-day tour of colorful Columbia, guests travel to Bogota, San Agustin, the Coffee Cultural Landscape, Cartagena, Santa Cruz de Mompox, and the Tierradentro National Archeological Park. The trip covers five World Heritage Sites, and three different archeological parks. 2012-13 departures will be every Tuesday, and tour cost starts from US$ 4590 per person.
India Northern & Southern Heritage
Travelers can experience the highlights of northern and southern India on this 29-day tour of this captivating country. The comprehensive tour includes visits to 16 World Heritage sites including the Taj Mahal, the cave temples of Ajanta, and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Guests explore the cities of Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mysore. 2012 departures will be Sept. 23, Oct. 4, Nov. 21 and Dec. 1. The 29-day tour starts at $6525 per person, and shorter versions of this trip are offered.
Explorers on this 22-day escorted tour travel to 14 World Heritage sites in the mysterious Balkans. It includes stops in Belgrade, Pristina, Skopje, Ohrid, Berat, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Zagreb. The tour offers visits to the old city of Dubrovnik, the holy Medjugorje pilgrimage site and a trip on the Sargan Eight heritage railroad. 2012 departures will be Sept. 15 and 2013 departures will be May 25 and September 14, and the tour cost starts at $4785.
Established in 1978 and “A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau, Bestway Tours offers more than 30 World Heritage Tours to destinations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Learn more about these tours at: http://www.bestway.com/ebrochures/wht/index.html or call toll-free 1-800-663-0844 (if calling from outside the US or Canada, call 604-264-7378).
Bestway positions its tours as “journeys without borders.” As Poonja added, on these vacations, “Travelers can relive the heritage of the past while experiencing today’s exciting cultures. ”
For more details about World Heritage sites, including the latest additions to the list at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties