Previous World Congresses

2017 – Gyeongju, Republic of Korea

Heritage and Communities:
Tools to engage local communities

2017: First OWHC’s World Congress in the Asia-Pacific Region in Gyeongju (Republic of Korea)

The 14th World Congress of the OWHC took place during the 31st of October and the 3rd of November of 2017 and can be summarise with those significative numbers:

Number of cities represented: 95 cities from 52 countries

Number of participants who took part in the main program of the congress: 247

This number is divided into three categories:


Member cities of the OWHC


OWHC Young Professionals Forum


Experts Workshop

Cities of the OWHC participating in the congress had the option to operate a promotional booth at the HICO Centre; 33 cities complied.

In addition, many other participants attended the various workshops and events proposed in the program held parallel to the congress:


Korean OWHC Students Association Forum


Journalists’ Workshop


Capacity-building Workshop for Cities with Property on the Tentative List


Heritage on the Cutting Edge: Digital Technology and Heritage

Finally, more than 4500 people were present during the opening ceremony, including the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea. The ceremony was televised throughout the country.

Among the highlights of the congress, we can note:

  • The election of the mayors of the following cities for the 2017-2019 Board of Directors: Quebec (President), Angra do Heroismo (Vice-President), Brussels (Vice-President), Cidade Velha (Vice-President), Gyeongju (Vice-President), Quito (Vice-President), San Miguel de Allende (Vice-President) and Vienna (Vice-President).
  • The election of the city of Krakow in Poland as the host city of the 15th World Congress.
  • The choice of the scientific theme for 2019: “Tourism and Heritage”.
  • The unveiling of the winners of the International Video Production Competition – “My City, Our World Heritage”: the city of San Antonio (United States of America) won the 14-17 years old category and the city of Gyeongju won the 18-21 years old category.
  • The unveiling of the winner city of the 5th edition of the Jean-Paul-L’Allier Prize for Heritage: Quito, Ecuador.


The theme “Heritage and Communities: Tools to Engage Local Communities” was a success and mobilized the participants present during the Scientific Day. At the end of this day, recommendations were formulated and adopted during the General Assembly.

Recommendations of Gyeongju

Download the Congress’ proceedings

Finally, like the theme of local communities celebrating life together and collaboration, the cities of the OWHC celebrated their community at this congress, full of resplendent performances and Korean karaoke.

Pictures of the Congress


Recommendations of Gyeongju

Download the Congress' proceedings