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UNWTO names Best Tourism Villages

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SINGAPORE, 22 December 2022: From Austria to Vietnam, 32 destinations worldwide have been named ‘Best Tourism Villages 2022’ by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Asia was represented by two villages in China and one each in the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.

Photo Credit: UNWTO. 2022 Best Tourism Villages list; Thái Hải, Vietnam.

The accolade recognises rural destinations embracing tourism as a driver of development and new opportunities for jobs and income while preserving and promoting community-based values and products.

The initiative also recognises villages for their commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental – and a focus on developing tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2022, 32 villages from 18 countries across the five world regions were awarded the recognition.

The villages were evaluated by an independent advisory board based on a set of criteria covering nine 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 Prioritisation of Tourism

8.    Infrastructure and Connectivity

9.    Health, Safety, and Security

List of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2022
  • Zell am See, Austria
  • Wagrain, Austria
  • Puqueldón, Chile
  • Dazhai, China
  • Jingzhu, China
  • Choachí, Colombia
  • Aguarico, Ecuador
  • Angochagua, Ecuador
  • Choke Mountains Ecovillage, Ethiopia
  • Mestia, Georgia
  • Kfar Kama, Israel
  • Sauris-Zahre, Italy
  • Isola del Giglio, Italy
  • Umm Qais, Jordan
  • Creel, Mexico
  • El Fuerte, Mexico
  • Ksar Elkhorbat, Morocco
  • Moulay Bouzerktoune, Morocco
  • Lamas, Peru
  • Raqchi, Peru
  • Castelo Novo, Portugal
  • Pyeongsa-ri, Republic of Korea
  • Rasinari, Romania
  • AlUla Old Town, Saudi Arabia
  • Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Rupit, Spain
  • Alquézar, Spain
  • Guadalupe, Spain
  • Murten, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
  • Birgi, Türkiye
  • Thái Hải, Vietnam

Three-pillar initiative

Recognition for community-based values
The accolade recognises villages that are outstanding examples of rural tourism destinations with accredited cultural and natural assets that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products, and lifestyles and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Upgrade Programme
The Upgrade Programme benefits villages that do not fully meet the criteria to receive recognition. These villages receive support from UNWTO and its partners to improve elements identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

UNWTO’s Global Network
The network provides a space for exchanging experiences, good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It includes experts and public and private sector partners engaged in promoting tourism for rural development.

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