The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.
A total of 44 villages from 32 countries across the five world regions were granted the recognition in 2021. All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The only awarded town in Italy is San Ginesio, a mountain village close to the Umbrian-Marche Apennines, which is among the 41 municipalities in the world that have been awarded “Best Tourism Villages”. “It is with particular pride – says the Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia – that a small Italian municipality, moreover hit in the past by the earthquake, has been indicated by the Word Tourism Organization as the best tourist village”.
The best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development have been celebrated at the World Tourism Organization General Assembly in Madrid in December 2021.
“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing”.