The UNESCO World Heritage List has been continuously growing since the first sites were listed in 1978. It has frequently been highlighted as a marker of quality and authenticity, and UNESCO underscores that designation is important for tourist visitation. Given the vastness of the List, and its expected continued growth, it becomes relevant to understand the mechanism by which UNESCO and the States Parties work to promote the dissemination and use of the World Heritage brand. This paper proposes that the relationship between these entities is best expressed through a franchise model wherein UNESCO is the franchisor and the States Parties franchisees. Therefore, through an analysis of UNESCO World Heritage policy and practice documents combined with general franchising theory, this work seeks to emphasize the appropriateness of this business model in understanding the management practices of both UNESCO and the States Parties.