Today’s travelers increasingly seek to discover the world’s diverse cultures and historic sites. Heritage sites are uniquely positioned to harness the growing economic power of tourism to benefit surrounding communities, often located in the world’s least developed regions.
Since 2002, Global Heritage Fund projects have effectively demonstrated how heritage sites, when responsibly cared for, enrich visitor experiences while transforming surrounding economies. To further this mission, GHF is launching a global partnership with 700’000 Heures the world’s first wandering hotel. This collaboration begins with cultural experiences at GHF’s successful, on-going initiative in Morocco, with more international heritage site destinations across multiple continents to follow.
The innovative alliance brings together the conservation projects of Global Heritage Fund and the ephemeral yet transformative bespoke journeys curated by 700’000 Heures. The shared goal is to initiate new offerings for experiential travelers that ignite longlasting economic opportunities in the surrounding communities through sustainable cultural heritage tourism.
The partnership is simple yet powerful: 700’000 Heures will create authentic, luxurious private accommodations and guests will enjoy exclusive access to Global Heritage Fund’s cultural sites, starting in Morocco around historic granaries known as igoudar. Majestic structures often constructed into mountain sides and desert cliffs, these granaries once served as vital religious and communal centers for the Amazigh tribes that built them. It is the vision of this new partnership, that travelers will stay at these custom-fit, dedicated accommodations designed in harmony with the natural environment, and experience cultural protection firsthand thanks to unparallelled participation in GHF’s granary restoration projects.
“The heart of heritage is living communities — real people with authentic connections to historic sites and cultural practices. For the last 18 years, our work around the world has taught us that communities are integral to the success of our programs,” according to Nada Hosking, GHF Executive Director. “Our goal through this partnership is to prepare the communities we work with for the increase in global travel, and to give them the opportunity to benefit directly.”
“I created 700’000 HEURES to support local communities in developing their skills and to transform travel by sharing their authentic hospitality with the world,” says Thierry Teyssier, founder of 700’000 HEURES. “Together with GHF, we can enable people to develop their own projects, to protect their environment, and to take pride in their cultural heritage.”
In addition to working together in the Anti-Atlas region of Morocco this fall, 700’000 Heures and GHF aim to develop further opportunities, beginning next year in destinations such as Transylvania and Turkey.
Global Heritage Fund (GHF) empowers communities through cultural heritage preservation. Since 2002, GHF has helped local communities to save 28 sites in 19 countries with over 100 partner organizations. Using community-based planning, conservation science, and strategic partnerships, GHF has invested over $30 million and secured $25 million in co-funding to ensure sustainable preservation and responsible development. Learn more at globalheritagefund.org.
700,000 Heures launched in 2018 as the world’s first ephemeral hotel. Named for the average human lifespan in hours and based on the notion that how we spend each hour truly counts, this innovative, single booking at a time tourism concept was conceived by Thierry Teyssier, the French founder of Morocco’s Dar Ahlam and La Route du Sud. Teyssier and his operations team have successfully reinvented 700’000 Heures in an Italian palazzo, floating Khmer fishermen’s houses, among the sand dunes of Brazil and on Paris’ storied Place Vendôme.
This article has been originally posted on Global Heritage Fund’s website.