When does a visit count?

At WHS.org, we take the stance that an individual's own frame of reference decides whether he/she may ‘tick’ a WHS as visited.

All of the following considerations from individual community members are therefor valid:

  • “I consider a site as visited when I have seen at least one monument or protected feature in the site intended as the core zone.”
  • “I 'feel' like I have visited a site, based mostly on my intention on the trip.”
  • “Several times I have 'seen' sites without visiting them as I just caught a glance or had no idea what they were only later to find out that were important and I don't count these.”
  • “When visiting Multiple Location sites, I consider a site bagged when I have seen 50% +1 of those locations.”
  • “My criteria for a minimal visit is to take one representative photo of the site.”
  • “Concerning the Chauvet cave, I think touching the armored door of the original site and visiting the replica is a good visit”
  • “For non-penetrable sites like Chauvet or Stoclet, it may be enough to touch the limit of the central area without entering it.”
  • “I count a site as visited if through my visit I manage to appreciate its OUV or sincerely try hard to appreciate it during my visit (after having done prior reading and post-research).”
  • “I was there, I lived it, I have memories, I count it.”
Overall, seeing and getting the ‘meaning’ of a WHS is valued more than being at the correct geographical coordinates alone. Two main concepts to be aware of are ‘OUV’ (Outstanding Universal Value = the reason why this site has become a WHS) and ‘core zone’ (the strictly protected area as defined in the official maps).

Read more in What counts as a visit? and in this Forum Post.

Trust System

Reporting the number of visited WHS on this website is done using a trust system. You keep track of your own count. All other community members trust you to do that with care. Some people may set higher standards for themselves than others, but that’s fine.

However, blatant abuse, such as claiming sites that are ‘impossible’ to visit will be met by indefinite suspension of your user account after 1 warning. It disrespects the persons who have visited honestly and spent much effort and money into doing so.

The following process is in place: community members who, after August 1 2022, have checked one of the particularly hard-to-visit WHS highlighted in this file will be asked to provide a review before it will become part of their total count. This will not only prevent careless ticking or honest small mistakes (you can then just remove the unjustified ‘tick’), but also stimulates sharing the real great travel experiences within our community.

More background info on this topic can be found here.