Dr Aylin Orbaslı

From the 'drawing board'

The recently completed Management Plan for the Rock Art sites in Saudi Arabia forms part of the serial nomination of these outstanding rock art sites to the World Heritage List by the Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities.

Working with Keith Knight of

JULY 2013 Panama Viejo, Panama City

We visited the site of the 'first European settlement' on the Pacific coast to undertake a heritage management certification for HERITY, the International Organisation for Quality Management of Cultural Heritage. The purpose of a HERITY assessment is to evaluate heritage management at a site under the themes of value, conservation, services and communication. The overall outcome depicted in a target is generated by input from the stakeholders, the users (visitors) and the evaluation team. The outcome is not only a tool that can inform visitors about a site, but also assists the site managers and stakeholders to improve quality at their sites.

Sacked and abandoned in 1671, Panama Viejo is a ruin set in lush vegetation with a sense of the 'romantic', yet some of the biggest challenges the site faces are far from romantic, such as engaging with the local neighbourhoods that have partly encroached on the site.


OCTOBER 2013 Sukhotai, Thailand

In October a the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee held its annual meeting in Sukhothai province of Thailand. The meeting was preceeded by expert visits and a structured workshop hosted by DASTA (the agency for Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration). My group was assigned the task of evaluating the tourism services. Sukhothai is best known as a World Heritage Site spread over three sites of distinct character. All the groups, were quick to uncover a much broader and richer tourism landscape that combines cultural and natural attractions, intangible heritage and inherent creativity. The main issues were in fact how to join the dots, including with sustainable transportation infrastructures, capacity building locally and promoting creativity as a unique place quality to maintain the attraction of the region to small scale, low impact and high end tourism.