With the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee coming to a close on July 31st, the United Kingdom has both reason to celebrate and to mourn. While Liverpool has been removed from the list due to "the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property", the slate landscape in north-west Wales and the town of Bath as part of "Great Spa Towns of Europe" have officially been inscribed as a world heritage during the meeting, making them the 32nd and 33rd property in the UK. As evidenced by our chart, Europe is still by far the region with the most UNESCO heritage sites which are able to potentially boost tourism revenue in the respective countries.
Overall, Europe is home to 503 world heritage sites of either cultural, natural or mixed importance. The APAC region boasts 277 sites, including an island chain with subtropical rainforests in south-west Japan and the getbol tidal flats in South Korea newly added this year, while Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Arab states are featured with 146, 98 and 88 properties respectively. Coming in last: North America with Canada and the US only being home to 42 sites.
A cultural or natural property has to match at least one of the ten criteria of the committee to be inscribed on the list. These criteria include, among others, conservation of biodiversity, exceptional beauty and aesthetic importance or the bearing of an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or civilization that has since disappeared. In 2020 and 2021, a total of 33 new properties have been added to the list.