This medieval town might lose its status
We’ve all got a holiday bucket list filled with all the sights we want to see one day – and the 1052 Unesco heritage sites quite often make it right to the top. (Yes, ok, it’s a pretty big list…)
So, when it was announced that another site is in danger of losing their Unesco status, we knew it was a big deal. Only two sites have lost it in the past: Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary because of its failure to act against animal poaching and Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley after they built a modern bridge that changed the landscape completely, so it’s not a decision that’s made lightly.
Now, Montenegro’s small historic town of Kotor, which has been Unesco protected since 1979, is at risk of coming off the list because of its excessive developments to encourage more tourists to go. Sadly, with more commercial spaces, roads and tourists centres, the Balkan town, with its preserved Medieval-style architecture and untouched landscapes just won’t feel the same. Locals are comparing new buildings to skyscrapers and are unhappy with the new look of the town.
Although the Unesco World Heritage Sites bring tourism and funding to an area, tourism in general still remains a huge part of an area’s economic resource so it depends on local governments if they’d rather remain a heritage site or accommodate an even bigger tourist market. Considering that some small villages (like this Italian one) will quite literally pay you money to move there, it can obviously be a tricky balance.
Unesco have put a ban on construction in place but there are already some complexes being built in Kotor that may mean it’s too late. Our say? Add Kotor to the top of your list before it changes completely.