In 2021, more than 40 villages across five world regions were recognised
The UNWTO has announced the return of its Best Tourism Villages initiative for 2022, which promotes the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their natural and cultural diversity, local values, activities and gastronomy.
Having launched last year, the organisation’s member states are once again invited to present their applications through their National Tourism Administrations (NTAs). Applications will be open until 28 June 2022 and the chosen villages will be announced at the end of the year.
The initiative has three key components:
- The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO, recognising outstanding examples of rural tourism destinations
- The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Upgrade Programme, in which villages can receive support from UNWTO to improve in order to be recognised as a Best Tourism Village in future
- The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Network, in which good practices can be shared
The calendar of activities within the Network component, which includes training, webinars, and masterclasses, will be expanded from April to December 2022. The Network is made of up representatives from the elected Best Tourism Villages, and will be enlarged with new members each year, with the aim of becoming the largest international network focusing on tourism for rural development.
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Applications will be evaluated by an external independent Advisory Board consisting of experts in the different fields based on the nine areas of evaluation including natural and cultural resources and three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental.
Announcing the launch of the second edition on the occasion of its 48th Commission meeting for the Middle East in Cairo, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism brings immense opportunities to communities around the world to build new businesses, and promote and protect their culture.
“I look forward to seeing examples of villages working to realise tourism’s unique potential to foster sustainability and create opportunities for all.”
For more information, visit www.unwto.org