Towards responsible tourism for cetaceans

Key Goals

  1. WHS applicants and candidate sites showcased
  2. WHS criteria and process improved
  3. Concept developed for a Whale Heritage Trail initiative (S. Africa case study)
  4. Training received for WHS partners interested in auditing sites
  5. Help and advice for prospective sites


Wednesday 28 June

Welcome to the 2nd Whale Heritage Sites Summit!

Keynote speaker: Whales and whale heritage in South Africa. TBA


Session 1: Showcasing Whale Heritage Sites

  • Case Study from a leading Whale Heritage Site applicant:

1) Why they applied?  

2) How they have benefitted

3) What does the future hold?

4) How we quantify their success

5) How it will affect their visitor economy

6) Tangible benefits for cetaceans.


  • Presentation session: initial applicants and candidate sites reveal why they believe they qualify for Whale Heritage Site status


  • Southern Africa: A look at potential Whale Heritage Sites across the region


Session 2: Improving Whale Heritage Sites, criteria and process

  • Workshop activities will focus on information gathered through a feedback process with candidate sites, accredited sites, initial applicants, and the WHS management committees.


Session 3: Cultural and Natural Whale Heritage Sites, and Whale Heritage Trails

  • Should places that only meet some of the criteria for Whale Heritage Sites still be able to apply for an appropriate designation (for example, as responsible whale watching sites)? Should WHS be broken down into sites of regional, as well as global significance? How might Whale Heritage Trails fit into the Whale Heritage Sites programme? This session will take a look at the opportunities to expand the WHS programme to include communities linked to cetaceans across the world, and discuss how we might use the initiative to further protect cetaceans and associated communities that rely on the sea.


Thursday 29 June


Session 1: A Southern Africa Whale Heritage Trail

  • Delegates will discuss the idea of developing Whale Heritage Trails by focusing on the potential of the Humpback Whale migration route which passes the Kwazulu Natal coast and includes countries such as Mozambique, Madagascar, Reunion, Tanzania, and Kenya. Attendees from scientific, conservation, and tourism communities working alongside the Indian Ocean Humpback Whale migratory route will exchange ideas on the potential of a trail to improve marine conservation efforts in the region and help develop sustainable tourism activities.


Session 2: Audit training for on-site auditors and advice panel for interested applicants

  • Details To Be Announced