Best Tourism Villages 2023 Named

This accolade recognizes villages that are leading in nurturing rural areas and preserving landscapes, cultural diversity, local values, and culinary traditions.

In this third edition, 54 villages from all regions were selected from almost 260 applications. A further 20 villages have joined the Upgrade Program, and all 74 villages are now part of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Best Tourism Villages Network. The villages were named during the UNWTO General Assembly, taking place this week in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

A global network of local communities

Launched in 2021, the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative is part of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Program. The Program works to foster development and inclusion in rural areas, combat depopulation, advance innovation and value chain integration through tourism and encourage sustainable practices.

As in previous editions, the villages are evaluated under nine key areas:

    Cultural and Natural Resources

    Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources

    Economic Sustainability

    Social Sustainability

    Environmental Sustainability

    Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration

    Governance and Prioritization of Tourism

    Infrastructure and Connectivity

    Health, Safety, and Security

The initiative comprises three pillars:

Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO: Recognizes outstanding rural tourism destinations with accredited cultural and natural assets, a commitment to preserving community-based values, and a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability across economic, social, and environmental dimensions.

Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Upgrade Program: Supports villages on their journey to meet recognition criteria, helping in areas identified as gaps during evaluation.

The Best Tourism Villages Network: a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learning, and opportunities among its members, and it is open to contributions of experts and public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism as a driver for rural development.

The Network enlarges every year and aims at becoming the largest global rural network: with the announcement today of these 74 new members, 190 villages are now part of this unique Network.

Best Tourism Villages 2023

List of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2023 is as follows (by alphabetic order):

    Al Sela, Jordan

    Barrancas, Chile

    Biei, Japan

    Caleta Tortel, Chile

    Cantavieja, Spain

    Chacas, Peru

    Chavín de Huantar, Peru

    Dahshour, Egypt

    Dhordo, India

    Dongbaek, Republic of Korea

    Douma, Lebanon

    Ericeira, Portugal

    Filandia, Colombia

    Hakuba, Japan

    Higueras, Mexico

    Huangling, China

    Jalpa de Cánovas, Mexico

    Kandovan, Iran

    La Carolina, Argentina

    Lephis Village, Ethiopia

    Lerici, Italy

    Manteigas, Portugal

    Morcote, Switzerland

    Mosan, Republic of Korea

    Oku-Matsushima, Japan

    Omitlán de Juárez, Mexico

    Oñati, Spain

    Ordino, Andorra

    Oyacachi, Ecuador

    Paucartambo, Peru

    Penglipuran, Indonesia

    Pisco Elqui, Chile

    Pozuzo, Peru

    Saint-Ursanne, Switzerland

    Saty, Kazakhstan

    Schladming, Austria

    Sehwa, Republic of Korea

    Sentob, Uzbekistan

    Shirakawa, Japan

    Sigüenza, Spain

    Şirince, Türkiye

    Siwa, Egypt

    Slunj, Croatia

    Sortelha, Portugal

    St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

    Tân Hoá, Viet Nam

    Taquile, Peru

    Tokaj, Hungary

    Văleni, Moldova

    Vila da Madalena, Portugal

    Xiajiang, China

    Zapatoca, Colombia

    Zhagana, China

    Zhujiawan, China

The villages selected to participate in the Upgrade Program this year are:

    Asuka, Japan

    Baños de Montemayor, Spain

    Bilebante, Indonesia

    Ciocănești, Romania

    Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

    El Cisne, Ecuador

    Iza, Colombia

    Kale Üçağız, Türkiye

    Kemaliye, Türkiye

    Kfar Masaryk, Israel

    Madla, India

    Ounagha, Morocco

    Pela, Indonesia

    Puerto Octay, Chile

    Sabbioneta, Italy

    Saint Catherine, Egypt

    Sarhua, Peru

    Taro, Indonesia

    Vila de Frades, Portugal

    Yanque, Peru

The call for submissions for the fourth edition will take place in the first months of 2024, opening a new opportunity to rural destinations to shine on the global stage.

SOURCE: Best Tourism Villages 2023 Named