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World skyship race to promote World Heritage sites and environment – UNESCO

World skyship race to promote World Heritage sites and environment – UNESCO

Zeppelins and skyships will take part in a global race in 2010 promoting world heritage sites as well as sustainable tourism that reduces the pollution and environmental stress on natural and cultural locations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today.

The agency, in partnership with the World Air League, has scheduled 16 back-to-back races in which Zeppelins and skyships will cover 30,000 miles stopping at iconic sites including many on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

These include the Taj Mahal (India), the Coliseum (Italy), the Pyramids (Egypt), the Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico) and Greenwich (United Kingdom).

The event is designed to generate publicity for world heritage, as well as raise awareness of and funding for preservation, while demonstrating the skyship’s potential contribution to sustainable tourism.

Skyships can reduce fuel consumption by 89 per cent when compared to long haul jet aircraft, and can cut energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent when measured up against road transportation, according to a UNESCO press release.

UNESCO and World Air League, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in the United States, will also use the World Sky Race to develop educational activities, as well as raise awareness of environmental issues, as the skyships make additional stops at notable sites such as Mount Fuji (Japan), and Kilauea Volcano, Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty (US).