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Western Samos Listed in ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Upgrade Programme

Western Samos is among the twenty destinations to enter the upgrade programme of the “Best Tourism Villages” initiative by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural towns.

Western Samos was initially among the 174 villages selected from 75 UNWTO member states that aimed to be identified as a “Best Tourism Village” by the UNWTO. Although the Greek destination did not make the final cut it was selected to enter the UNWTO’s ‘Best Tourism Villages’ Upgrade Programme, which is said to benefit the destinations that did not fully meet the ‘Best Tourism Village’ label criteria.

The destinations in the upgrade programme will receive support from UNWTO and its partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

A total of 44 villages from 32 countries across the five world regions were granted the “Best Tourism Village” recognition in 2021. The village of Soufli in northern Greece was selected as one of them.

With regard to Western Samos’ inclusion in the upgrade program, Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said:

“Following the efforts and synergies of the Tourism Ministry with the country’s municipalities, Western Samos is now part of the Best Tourism Villages upgrade programme.

“This new achievement completes the inclusion of Soufli in the ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ network and opens new opportunities for the upgrade of agritourism and rural tourism for two remote areas of our country.

“It is another step in our continuous effort to boost tourism development throughout the region in a balanced and sustainable way.

“And it shows the enormous potential that our country’s special forms of tourism have, as we come to the end of an extremely successful tourism year, preparing for an even stronger one”.

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