The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative will return for the second year
Since it is consolidated as the world's leading network focused on tourism for rural development
The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative will return for the second year, as it consolidates itself as the world's leading network focused on tourism for rural development.
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 and value systems, and local activities, including gastronomy. At the same time, the initiative also promotes transformative approaches to tourism development in rural destinations that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Member States invited to nominate candidates I look forward to
seeing examples of peoples working to harness the unique potential of tourism to foster sustainability and create opportunities for all.
Following the success of the pilot project in 2021, UNWTO has announced the return of Best Tourist Villages for 2022. In 2021, more than 40 villages from more than 30 countries in the five world regions (from more than 170 applications) were recognized as Best Tourist Towns and 20 other villages were selected to participate in the Improvement Program. Now, UNWTO Member States are once again invited to submit applications through their National Tourism Administrations (NTAs). Applications will be open until June 28, 2022 and the chosen towns will be announced at the end of the year.
The initiative has three components:
The 'Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO' recognize outstanding examples of rural tourism destinations with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community values, products and lifestyles and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects. economic, social and environmental. The recognition is based on an assessment of its resources and initiatives in nine areas that cover the three pillars of sustainable development.
The "UNWTO Best Tourist Villages" upgrade program assists a select number of villages among those that do not fully meet the criteria for recognition. The villages receive support from UNWTO and partners to improve elements of the areas identified as gaps in the assessment process.
The 'Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO' Network provides a space for the exchange of experiences and good practices. It includes representatives of the towns recognized as 'Best Tourist Town by UNWTO', as well as those participating in the Update Program and will benefit from the contributions of experts, public and private sector partners committed to promoting tourism for development. rural. The Network also contributes to UNWTO's work in identifying good practices, developing guidelines and policy recommendations, as well as ideas and knowledge.
Applications will be evaluated by an external independent Advisory Council made up of experts in the different fields based on the nine evaluation areas that cover natural and cultural resources, as well as initiatives in the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. .
Tourism for rural development
Announcing the launch of the second edition on the occasion of the 48th Session of the Commission 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 towns working to harness the unique potential of tourism to foster sustainability and create opportunities for all.”
Parallel to the announcement, the BTV Network launch meeting will be held online on March 30, 2022 with more than 60 current members to participate in shaping its identity, goals and focus. The calendar of activities within the Network (training, webinars, masterclasses, etc.) will also be extended from April to December 2022. The Network will be expanded with new members of Best Tourism Villages 2022 and future editions with the aim of becoming the largest international network focused on tourism for rural development.