Launched in 2021, 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
Following on from the success of pilot project in 2021, UNWTO has announced the return of Best Tourism Villages for 2022. 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 28 June 2022 and the chosen villages will be announced at the end of the year.
“I look forward to seeing examples of villages working to realize tourism’s unique potential to foster sustainability and create opportunities for all” – UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili
Tourism for rural development
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, promote and protect their culture. I look forward to seeing examples of villages working to realize tourism’s unique potential to foster sustainability and create opportunities for all.”
In parallel to the announcement, the kick-off meeting of the BTV Network will be held online on 30 March 2022 with more than 60 current members to take part in shaping its identity, objectives and approach. The calendar of activities within the Network (training, webinars, masterclasses, etc.) will also be expanded from April to December 2022. The Network will be enlarged with new members of Best Tourism Villages 2022 and forthcoming editions with the aim of becoming the largest international network focusing on tourism for rural development.