Empowering rural communities in Africa
One of the flagship initiative of UNWTO’s Tourism for Rural Development Programme, Best Tourism Villages (BTV) launched in 2021, aims to propel local development by recognizing rural destinations that exhibit accredited cultural and natural assets and vision on sustainability.
In three editions, ten Best Tourism Villages from Africa have been recognised. Ksar El Khorbat and Moulay Bouzerktoune in Morocco, Le Morne and Old Grand Port in Mauritius, Nkotsi in Rwanda, Olorgesailie in Kenya, Sidi Kaouki in Morocco and Lephis, Choke Mountains Ecovillage and Wonchi in Ethiopia.
Another seven villages are part of the Upgrade Programme, which aims to help these villages that did not meet the BTV criteria to receive mentoring to address evaluation gaps and includes villages from Adaba (Ethiopia), Il Ngwesi (Kenya), Grand Baie (Mauritius), Oukaimeden and Ounagha (Morocco), Gasura (Rwanda), and Ruboni (Uganda)
UNWTO also recently conducted a global survey, which included 17 countries in Africa. The findings underscore tourism’s potential to promote rural development in terms of job creation, cultural and natural preservation, and economic stimulation in Africa.