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UNWTO Invites Applications for Best Tourism Villages 2022

Photo source: UNWTO

Photo source: UNWTO

The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative is returning for a second year aiming to establish itself as the world’s leading network focused on tourism for rural development.

Launched by World Tourism Organization in 2021 as a pilot project, Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO promotes and enhances the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, knowledge systems, and local values and activities, including gastronomy. At the same time, the initiative also promotes transformative approaches to the development of tourism in rural destinations that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Member States invited to present candidates

In 2021 over 40 villages from more than 30 countries across the five world regions (from over 170 applications) were recognized as Best Tourism Villages and a further 20 villages were selected to participate in the Upgrade Programme. Now, UNWTO Members States are invited once again to present candidacies through their National Tourism Administrations (NTAs).

Applications will be open until June 28 and the chosen villages will be announced at the end of the year.

The UNWTO’s “Best Tourism Villages” project includes three pillars. Villages that are outstanding examples of rural tourism destinations with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products and lifestyle will be given the “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” label (award).

Villages that do not fully meet the label criteria will receive support by the UNWTO and its partners through a special upgrade program to improve elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

Also, a “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” network will be created to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences and good practices, learnings and offering opportunities.

Applications will be evaluated by an external independent Advisory Board consisting of experts in the different fields based on the nine evaluation areas covering natural and cultural resources as well as initiatives in the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.

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