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Number of WHS visited Per Annum by "Community" Members

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Author Solivagant
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#1 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 06:10 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Els's comment on her "Visits pa" figure in recent years had coincided with an analysis I have just done on this subject! Our personal 2016 figure was quite high and I decided to work out our own average of "new" WHS pa in recent years. I haven't recorded this on my spreadsheets so resorted to Wayback Machine which holds old pages from this web site showing the number of WHS visited by members of this Community going back to 2005. Using this I could record our counts at the start of each calendar year and hence the numbers visited between them. It then occurred to me that it might be interesting to look at this across the entire "Community" to gain a picture of the
a. number of sites visited by individual "members" each year
b. average rate of visiting by individuals and across the "Community" overall
c. largest numbers of sites being seen by individuals in a year/across multiple years. Etc etc

It needs to be said at this point that visiting WHS is not a competition with winners and losers. "Members" of the Community include those with family commitments and those who are totally foot loose, those with very limited vacation allocations and those with no work constraints, those who travel for a living and those who are not wealthy enough to travel much at all, some who live within a few hundred kms of many WHS and others who can only visit them during "major" long distances travels. The "majority" picture of us however is of a pretty lucky cohort of educated professionals, mainly living in developed countries, who manage to fit in a fair amount of World wide travel whilst juggling other life objectives! As outliers, we no doubt also contain a few who have chucked up everything to travel on a shoestring and others who have made their pile and can pay to go anywhere in the World they want. But for all of us this is a "golden era" for travel when "real cost" air fares are as low as they have ever been and the ability to make travel arrangements via the Web has never been so easy (though we could discuss whether the resulting "experience" his improved or not!). Just what sort of rate of WHS visits are we achieving in this "easy to travel" environment?

I have limited the data to the 90 of us who have both hit 200 WHS visits and appear to still be active in making more (excluding anyone not recording a visit in the last 4 years). At the moment the highest number of visits is 813. Some members have been recording their visits since 2005 and others have only started this year. Since the latter don't yet have an "Annual visit" figure they haven't been included. For everyone else I have taken the recorded number of visits shown on the Web archive trawl of the Community page nearest to Jan 1 each year (at worst 3 months in). The main page only shows the "Top 25" but, for most years, the full Community page has also been archived. This was not always the case so I have been unable to find figures for those "lower" than 25 in 2 of the years – but this gap is covered in "average" terms where they had earlier recorded years. There is of course no guarantee that members have been recording their visits as they did them and were "correct" every Jan 1, so some may gain/lose in certain years by a lag and a "catch up" effect. There may also be differences in practice as to whether members count previously visited newly inscribed sites (we do, so our "annual" figures include these additions)

Below is the spreadsheet with the raw data as scraped from the Web pages on Wayback Machine. I have tried to avoid "errors" but don't guarantee any individual figure - there was a lot of sorting and copying to do and some people even changed "names" part way through - though I have "sorted" any obviously rogue data. As mentioned above, any particular annual figure might not exactly equal the figures you have in your personal records - either because the date used hasn't exactly been Jan 1 or because you hadn't updated the Web site!

Some general findings -
a. On an unweighted basis the Average Annual Visits by each of the 90 members is 28. So - if you aren't achieving that then you are "Falling behind"!!
b. The highest individual averages are 66 and 65pa. But these are only across a period of 2 and 1 years respectively which is perhaps a bit short to establish a maintainable "norm". There are however other individuals who have achieved annual average figures in the 50s across periods of 5, 7 and 9 years. Such a rate of visiting would seem to be the "best" extended term target that WHS travellers could aim at (excluding the millionaires and those who give up everything else!). Even at that rate of course it is going to require 16 years of travel to reach the current top visit number of c800.
c. It might be thought that those with the highest visited counts would "tail off" in terms of their rates of visit as they pick up all the "low hanging fruit". In fact, in the year just past, 9 of the "Top 10" in terms of total visit count (all with more than 570 visited WHS), still exceeded the Community average - and 4 even improved their own personal average! For those who regard the entire World as a potential destination there are plenty of WHS to aim at even if a large number have already been visited.
d. Whilst most individuals in the "Top 30" still have an annual visit rate above the Community average, the remaining 60 are mainly operating at a lower annual rate. They may all have reached the magic "200" WHS but their interest in adding more seems to be "under control" or limited by circumstances and they are adding at a figure mainly between 10 and 25 p,a.
e. Within this lower "total visit" group however there seem to be some young "up and comers" who have been adding at between 53 and 61 pa for the last 3 years. They have now visited around 350 so can expect to reach 800 in another 8 years - if of course their personal circumstances and desire to travel haven't changed!!
f. The highest number of visits recorded by an individual in any 1 year is 126 (Els - there is a query about this figure which we could review but I have used it "as recorded"). This is 1 WHS every 3 days and, if maintained, would allow someone to reach 800 visits in just 6 years from scratch. Though whether one could keep up that rate over such a long period is another matter. Also whether one would actually be gaining "full value" from each visit! In this case the individual appears to have been doing a major concentrated trip and subsequently reverted to a more normal 27 and 9pa. The next highest pa figures are 98 and 93 with a few more in the 80s. Even these are around 1 WHS every 4 days which seems to imply a "time away from work" strategy.
g. We have discussed under another Forum topic whether anyone could visit every WHS. Leaving aside the issues of further inscriptions, WHS in off limit countries or very "difficult to reach" there might be just a few of our current "members" who, based on their record, could get close to the magic figure. But even a rate of 40-50 a year would still take over 13 years to get from 400 to the ever receding `"1000+" and the Community average rate would take over 20! Probably only those not held back by the constraints of annual vacation entitlements could consider going for it. Some might see "Retirement" as a major help and indeed, at least 5 of the "Top 10" are already retired and are still hitting 30-50 a year. But time etc has a habit of running out at that age so I wouldn't rely on it!

The Data (I have "highlighted"some of the figures mentioned above by a block border round the cells concerned) –
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/profiles/Communiyvistsperafinal1.xls

Author nfmungard
Registered
#2 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 06:35 | Edited by: nfmungard 
A solid 50 per year for me :D ... Will see if we can't get this directly from the database.

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 06:48 
nfmungard:
Will see if we can't get this directly from the database

I only fairly recently starting adding the dates to a count update, to generate info such as under "Recently Updated" on http://www.worldheritagesite.org/community.php (which shows who has updated his count recently, and on his profile page it shows which visited sites were added). So there is no historic data to speak of.

Thanks for the overview Solivagant. It seems my yearly goal of 30-35 is quite reasonable.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#4 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:05 
elsslots:
So there is no historic data to speak of.

We can use Solivagant's data to update the missing dates, at least by year. Should be fairly straightforward.

I would then also update the profile page to allow for sorting by visited date.

Author paul
Registered
#5 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:09 
Would it be possible to add a "date visited" field to the list of visited sites, we can then have a accurate timeline which also predates community membership?

Author nfmungard
Registered
#6 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:12 
paul

I think Els already the field in the backend (database). So having it show and being editable in the frond end should be possible. However, I tried sorting all my sites once and failed miserably because several visits date 30 years back. Did I go to Sylt before I went to Lübeck or Paris? ...

Author paul
Registered
#7 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:18 
Just add an accuracy disclaimer to the terms and conditions :-)

Author paul
Registered
#8 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:28 
It would also be nice to have multiple dates - I just got back from Paris for the 10th time.

Serving the visited list for each person as a json object would also allow other members with computer skills to provide interesting add ons like graphs for visiting rate (and many others).

If you could serve the full list as a json object we could also make interesting correlations with site meta data!

Author paul
Registered
#9 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:32 
10 years ago I was just 50 sites behind Els! 10 years ago I didn't have children.

Author clyde
Registered
#10 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 07:57 
Thanks Solivagant :) Some interesting data.

I got an annual average of 60 which is quite high but after the 300 WHS milestone, I'm running short of nearby WHS hotspots which can guarantee a high number of WHS on shorter/long weekend trips.

Moreover, while most of the WHS hotspots I visited to reach the magic 300 mostly included truly outstanding or unique sites, now it is much more difficult to visit such a high number on average while still visiting something which is truly unique.

What I mean is, most WHS hotspots I visited to reach the 300 milestone included a capital city, a very unique WHS (on my personal Top 100 sites I haven't visited yet) + some "low hanging fruit". Now it is either one or the other in most cases, and having visiting 360 WHS I tend to prefer visiting sites that are on my Top 100 than visiting more of the same.

In fact in 2017, I plan to visit 35-50 WHS and in the following years I think I'll be visiting 30-35 sites most probably which is great.

Living in Europe helps as more than half of the WHS and several TWHS are in Europe but I'm not really aiming at completion and I'm not ready to solely visit a number of WHS or any sites I consider as Top 100 material at a go.

What I mean is, it is certainly doable to visit Rapa Nui, Macchu Picchu, Nazca Lines, Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro in a 2-3 week visit but I'm more likely to visit these sites on separate 2-3 week trips spread over a number of years.

Personally I tend to better appreciate such wonders at a "calmer" rate instead of having an "overkill" (even though sometimes I admit it is quite tempting). On average, I also tend to spend much more time to visit them or I revisit when possible or splurge on having a fabulous hotel with a view (ex. Rome = 6 visits; Chichen Itza = 2 days; Giza = 5 days in the Howard Carter Suite just opposite; Taj Mahal = 3 days in the splendid Oberoi Amarvilas just opposite; Petra = 4 full days, etc.). I think that the more WHS I'll visit over the years, the more I'll want to revisit instead of only visiting "new" ones.

Author paul
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#11 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 08:14 | Edited by: paul 
One last technical request - it would be great to have visited locations rather than visited sites.

Author nfmungard
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#12 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 08:18 
paul:
If you could serve the full list as a json object we could also make interesting correlations with site meta data!

Seems you want to join the whs.org development team. Send your CV to the product owner and project lead (Els) ;)

I actually implemented a tiny API prototype with slimframework that should cover this, but not really my area of expertise; still trying to figure out authentication.

More generally, Els wasn't too enthusiastic about fancy coding as it makes maintaining the site for her a lot harder.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#13 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 08:20 
paul:
One last technical request - it would be great to have visited locations rather than visited sites.

Already mentioned in the dev thread ;)

Author nfmungard
Registered
#14 | Posted: 6 Jan 2017 08:23 
clyde:
What I mean is, it is certainly doable to visit Rapa Nui, Macchu Picchu, Nazca Lines, Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro in a 2-3 week visit but I'm more likely to visit these sites on separate 2-3 week trips spread over a number of years.

You would miss out on Glaciares. Highly recommended. And this sounds like a hellish trip.

In general, fully agree with your Post 300 approach. I have a short list of sites and countries I really want to see and then check what else could be added to the trip to make it worthwhile. Also, I take security into consideration putting Turkey or Syria for the time being into the not going basket.

Author Assif
Registered
#15 | Posted: 7 Jan 2017 16:26 
Just a remark: looking at when sites were added to the persondal visited list in the history of this website would falsely include the newly added sites. Let's say 30 sites are inscribed in 2017 from which I visited 8 a long time ago. Ticking these 8 sites in 2017 would be added to my count for 2017 although visited before.

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