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TripAdvisor Reveals Unesco World Heritage Sites Most Recommended By Travellers
Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge ranks at second place in the world

8 January, 2013 - TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, reveals the most highly recommended UNESCO World Heritage Sites according to the TripAdvisor traveller community. Of the top 10 in the world, Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, known throughout the world as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, comes in at second place.

The results are based on more than 1.1 million*** traveller feedback forms, collected in partnership with UNESCO, making this the largest study of its kind ever conducted. 

The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa in China is recognised as the most highly recommended site in the world.

“Every one of the 962 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites is of enormous cultural or natural significance,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “These lists identify the sites that are valued most highly by the millions of TripAdvisor travellers who visit them and therefore, Ironbridge Gorge should be incredibly proud of its position at second place in the world.” 

World’s Most Recommended Sites 

1.    Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa  - China

2.    Ironbridge Gorge - UK

3.    Palace and Park of Fontainebleau - France

4.    Historic Centre of Guimaraes - Portugal

5.    Masada - Israel

6.    Byblos - Lebanon

7.    Persepolis - Iran

8.    Hwaseong Fortress - Republic of Korea

9.    Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula - Italy

10. Meidan Emam, Esfahan - Iran


UK’s Most Recommended Sites

These UK World Heritage sites are those most recommended, according to TripAdvisor travellers:

1.    Ironbridge Gorge - Shropshire

2.    Heart of Neolithic Orkney - Orkney Islands, Scotland

3.    Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey - North Yorkshire

4.    Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd - Gwynedd, Wales

5.    City of Bath - Bath

6.    Durham Castle and Cathedral - Durham

7.    Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland

8.    Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church - Canterbury

9.    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal - North East Wales

10. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and St Martin’s Church - London

  1. The partnership between TripAdvisor and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre launched in October 2009 to raise awareness of and gain travellers’ support to preserve natural and cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.  

Within the partnership, TripAdvisor is also providing support to the World Heritage Centre to help monitor the conservation of the world’s most important cultural and natural heritage sites. TripAdvisor shares the feedback to the World Heritage Centre so that it may better support UNESCO member states in protection and presentation of the properties.   


Notes to Editors

*** When TripAdvisor users write a review for a hotel, restaurant or attraction in a UNESCO World Heritage site area they also asked to complete a survey on their experience of the UNESCO site, including whether they would recommend it.  A total of more than 1,132,522 forms have been collected to date on World Heritage sites around the world. These lists were developed according to the likelihood to recommend the World Heritage Sites reviewed.