In the “World Heritage tentative list frequently asked questions”
A tentative list is an inventory of properties which a state party considers to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value, and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
The tentative list provides a forecast of properties that a state party may decide to submit for world heritage inscription in the next five to ten years. A position on a country’s tentative list does not automatically tender that site with world heritage status. The tentative list simply provides a tool for planning and advocacy of a nation’s outstanding natural and cultural heritage, and assists the World Heritage Committee to assess the context from which a country’s particular nominations are made.
The tentative list is extremely important because the World Heritage Committee cannot consider a nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List unless the property has already been included on the state party's tentative list.