THE
INITIATIVE

OBJECTIVES

OBJECTIVES

Reduce regional inequalities in income and development.

Fight rural depopulation.

Progress gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment.

Enhance education and skills development.

Promote rural transformation and strengthen traction capacity.

Strengthen multi-level-governance, partnerships and the active involvement of communities (public-private-community collaboration).

Improve connectivity, infrastructure and access to finance and investment.

Advance innovation and digitalization.

Innovate in product development and value chain integration.

Promote the relationship between sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems and tourism to preserve biodiversity, agrobiodiversity, cultural heritage and local gastronomy.

Advance the conservation of natural and cultural resources.

Promote sustainable practices for a more efficient use of resources and a reduction of emissions and waste.

PEOPLE

Reduce regional inequalities in income and development.

Fight rural depopulation.

Progress gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment.

Enhance education and skills development.

PROSPERITY

Promote rural transformation and strengthen traction capacity.

Strengthen multi-level-governance, partnerships and the active involvement of communities (public-private-community collaboration).

Improve connectivity, infrastructure and access to finance and investment.

Advance innovation and digitalization.

Innovate in product development and value chain integration.

PLANET

Promote the relationship between sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems and tourism to preserve biodiversity, agrobiodiversity, cultural heritage and local gastronomy.

Advance the conservation of natural and cultural resources.

Promote sustainable practices for a more efficient use of resources and a reduction of emissions and waste.

To know more, download the presentation

1. LABEL

The Label recognizes the villages which are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets that preserve and promote the rural and community based values, products and lifestyle .

It also recognizes the villages which have a clear commitment to sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental – in its development of tourism as one of the drivers of rural development and community well-being.

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2. UPGRADE PROGRAMME

A programme that benefits a number of selected villages among those that do not fully meet the label criteria.

How? Receiving support from UNWTO and Partners in improving the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

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3. NETWORK

A space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, opportunities…

The Network supports the work of UNWTO in identifying good practices, developing guidelines and policy recommendations as well as insights and knowledge.

WHY JOIN?

WHY JOIN?

Make tourism one of the drivers of rural development and community well-being.

Commit to sustainability in all its aspects -economic, social and environmental-.

Gain visibility and international recognition as an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination.

Be part of a global network of rural destinations.

REQUIREMENTS

REQUIREMENTS

POPULATION

Low population density, and a maximum of 15,000 inhabitants.

TERRITORY

Be located in a landscape with an important presence of traditional activities such as agriculture, forestry, livestock or fishing.

SOCIETY

Share community values and lifestyle.

HOW TO APPLY?

Applications should exclusively be presented online by UNWTO Members States (National
Tourism Administrations).

Read carefully the Terms and Conditions.

Read carefully the Guidelines for Application.

Read carefully the Word version of the Application form.

Fill out the Candidacy Document and upload it in the corresponding section of the Online Application Form.

Prepare a general presentation following the proposed structure in the General Presentation Template and upload it in the corresponding section of the Online Application Form.

Provide the supporting visual files requested in the Online Application Form.

AREAS OF
EVALUATION

Applications will be evaluated by an independent advisory board through a set of indicators covering the following areas:

1. Cultural and Natural Resources

2. Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources

3. Economic Sustainability

4. Social Sustainability

5. Environmental Sustainability

6. Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration

7. Governance and Prioritization of Tourism

8. Infrastructure and Connectivity

9. Health, Safety and Security

To know more download the Areas of Evaluation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who can apply?

The Call for Applications is open to all UNWTO Member States Candidacies are not open for individual application by villages and must always be presented by a UNWTO Member State through the National Tourism Administration.

Does the size of a village matter?

Yes, villages must not exceed 15.000 inhabitants. There is no minimum established.

Can a small community present the candidacy jointly with other community/ies of the area (a cluster of villages) who are constituted under the same administrative structure?

No joint candidatures can be submitted even if two (or more) villages are promoted as a single destination or are part of a destination cluster. It is recommended that the country submits two or three individual applications, one for each village.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for applications for the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative is 28 June 2022, 23:59 CEST

When will the villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO be announced?

The villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Label and those included in the Upgrade Programme will be officially announced by the end of 2022.

To allow for a considered and impartial evaluation of the applications, Member States and villages are kindly requested to refrain from requesting information on their applications during this process.

What are the benefits of participating in the initiative?

The villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO will benefit from international recognition as an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination and visibility, such as showcase in the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative website They will also receive a diploma and/or plate signed by the UNWTO Secretary-General.

The villages included in the Upgrade Programme will receive support from UNWTO and Partners to improve elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

Villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO and those selected to participate in the Upgrade Programme will become members of the Network, a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It will include experts, public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism for rural development. Villages in the Network can also benefit from being included as case studies in UNWTO policy documents, guidelines, participating in rural development and tourism related events…

The Network will be enlarged every year with new villages in next editions of the initiative and aims at becoming the largest international network on rural tourism. 

 

Do the villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO receive financial compensation?

No financial compensation is given in connection with the initiative.

How do Member States apply?

Applications must be summited only online through the online application form. UNWTO provides each Member State (National Tourism Administration) with a specific code for the purpose of the online application process.

Is there a fee for participating in the initiative?

No, there is no fee for participating in the initiative.

How to submit online applications?

Once completed, the online application form will be automatically submitted by clicking on ‘Submit’. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address of the Member State representative provided in the online application form (field 1.6.10).

Please note that this person will be responsible for the communication and coordination of all issues related to the application(s) submitted by the Member State.

How many villages can a Member State submit?

Each Member State can submit a maximum of three villages per edition. An application form must be filled per each village.

Who evaluates the Applications?

Applications will be evaluated by an independent Advisory Board which will assess the information provided in the video, the General Presentation and the Candidacy Document.

To protect the independence of the Board, no information on the identity of the members is provided until the end of their mandate.

Are the areas of evaluation publicly available?

Yes, areas of evaluation are available in three languages (EN, FR and SP) in the section “Initiative” of the Best Tourism Villages website.

How many villages will be selected in each category of the initiative?

There is no established number for the villages recognized as Best Tourism Villages. For those in the Upgrade Programme, UNWTO will assess the limit in number of villages based on the results of the initiative.

Who to contact in case of technical problems or questions regarding the application?

For any issues please contact the UNWTO Secretariat at besttourismvillages@unwto.org.