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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ourism is one of the biggest industry in the world which continues to grow at an accelerated pace with more than a billion tourists now travelling to an international destination each year. One of the key motivation to travel is mankind’s inherent curiosity and desire to explore cultural identities across the world. Natural and cultural heritage sites are prized tourism assets that distinguish one destination from another. This World Heritage Day, RCI brings to you a list of destinations to discover some of mankind’s highest achievements and explore natural wonders.
Italy is home to 53 UNESCO world heritage sites, which is more than any other country. Apart from these must-sees; Italy also has the largest number of cultural sites that one must experience. Venice, is a crowded city with a combination of houses, churches, palazzi, city squares, and different ancient as well as new manmade structures. Travelers who do not mind exploring new places would definitely love to move beyond Venice’s central districts and explore the Venetian Lagoon. Celebrated throughout the world for its singular beauty, Venice and its lagoon were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. The shallow-watered region in Italy. The lagoon is much more than just a scenic spot or a picturesque backdrop; it’s an integral part of Venetian life. A visit to the lagoons would enhance your vacation spent in the historic city of Venice. While in Venice, book your stay at Ca’ de Venezia. Located in Venezia, it allows guests the opportunity to walk through the lesser known parts of the city.
With 52 noteworthy sites, China ranks 2nd in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty one of the UNESCO approved world heritage site consists of 114 buildings constructed between 1625–26 and 1783. It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the center of the country and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China. Enjoy your stay at Badaling Hot Spring Resort which is surrounded by amazing scenery as the calm and pretty Guishi River runs across the lush green landscape in the summer, and the snow-covered grounds in the winter. Whatever time of year, the handicapped accessible resort offers a quiet and calm environment, with pools for children and adults to enjoy, as well as a spa for personal wellness.
Spain is home to a staggering 45 UNESCO World Heritage sites, third in number only to Italy and China and also a current tourist hotspot. Mérida – a model Roman city was established in 25 BC and according to UNESCO is a “remarkable example of a Roman city built according to all the Roman urban design rules”. From an amphitheatre to an intricate water supply system, the city offers a great glimpse into the ancient past. Apart from this, another must visit place is the Toledo. Situated in central Spain, this city of three cultures was added to the UNESCO list for its extensive history spanning 2,000 years, as well as for its many years of co-existence among Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups, earning it the nickname City of Three Cultures. Its popular sight-seeing spots include synagogues, mosques and churches. While in Spain, enjoy your stay at the Olivia Beach Club. Surrounded by an unspoiled natural landscape with protective dunes close by this resort will surely make your trip a memorable one.
France boasts of 41 heritage sites preserved under the UNESCO. With more than 1.3 million visitors each year, Chartres Cathedral is one of the most visited heritage sites in France. Partly built starting in 1145, and then reconstructed over a 26-year period after the fire of 1194. Chartres Cathedral marks the high point of French Gothic art. The vast nave, in pure ogival style, the porches adorned with fine sculptures from the middle of the 12th century, and the magnificent 12th- and 13th-century stained-glass windows, all in remarkable condition, combine to make it a masterpiece. Club this trip with a fantastic stay at Camping la Grande Métairie. Set in the parkland grounds of a Breton manor house, this beautifully maintained ‘Castels’ site has been awarded ‘five red tents’ by Michelin and offers a wide range of first class facilities. The spacious emplacements are surrounded by mature trees and hedges, which offer some shade and privacy. On a Canvas holiday the accommodation is provided in mobile homes, and whilst your mobile home will be different to anything you’ve experienced before at an RCI resort, it still features all the comforts and furnishings of a home away from home.
World Heritage sites aren’t simply ancient stones and cultural sites. UNESCO’s list also includes natural wonders. Situated in the heart of Assam, the Kaziranga National Park is one of the last areas in eastern India which is undisturbed by a human presence. It is inhabited by more than 2,000 rhinos and is home to a large breeding population of elephants, wild water buffaloes and swamp deer. Complete your trip with a stay at United-21 Resort Kaziranga #D628. Located in close proximity to the park, the resort is your window to the most precious and rarest of wildlife, flora and fauna such as tall elephant grass, one-horned rhinos and the endangered tiger population, promoting the spirit of eco-tourism. To enhance your stay, the resort is also equipped with comfortable accommodation, a spa, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and other facilities.
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