The entire island of Giglio in the Tuscan Archipelago has been included on the UNWTO list, Source: Depositphotos

UNWTO names its 2022 Best Tourism Villages, and ten are in the EU

UNWTO names its 2022 Best Tourism Villages, and ten are in the EU

This highlights Europe’s premier attractiveness for rural tourism

The World Tourism Organization announced its annual list of the Best Tourism Villages on the planet for 2022. Overall, the distinction honours 32 rural destinations (in 18 countries) for their balanced approach to developing tourism without sacrificing traditional community values. The latter is expected to be a much sought-after quality by a travelling public that is on the search for authenticity.

The new localities will join the WTO Global Network of Best Tourist Villages, which was created in 2021, and which to date gathers 115 villages from five continents. Apart from the evaluation that these settlements have made efforts to promote a healthy balance between development through tourism and vales preservations, sustainability parameters have also been taken into view.

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What’s notable is that more than a third of the distinguished villages are located in Europe and ten of these are actually on EU territory. These are their names:

  • Zell am See (Austria)
  • Wagrain (Austria)
  • Sauris-Zahre (Italy)
  • Isola del Giglio (Italy)
  • Castelo Novo (Portugal)
  • Rasinari (Romania)
  • Bohinj (Slovenia)
  • Rupit (Spain)
  • Alquézar (Spain)
  • Guadalupe (Spain)

When the UNWTO board weighs the decision to include a village on the list, it does so by considering nine different strands, which span a wide range of anything from health and security to economic and environmental sustainability. You can consult the entire 2022 list here.

The Best Tourism Villages initiative is the flagship project of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme. The Programme aims to ensure tourism contributes to:

  • reducing regional inequalities in income and development,
  • fighting depopulation,
  • progressing gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment,
  • advancing innovation and digitalization,
  • improving connectivity, infrastructure, access to finance and investment,
  • innovating in product development and value chain integration,
  • promoting sustainable practices for more efficient use of resources and a reduction of emissions and waste and
  • enhancing education and skills.

The Programme also promotes multi-level governance and partnerships and the active involvement and empowerment of communities.



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