The organisation’s list of 32 remote destinations aims to recognise lovely, small-scale places to visit, as well as spotlighting places that are embracing sustainable tourism away from the world’s big-hitter capitals and major cities.
The “Best Tourism Villages” list is described as “a global initiative to highlight those villages where tourism preserves cultures and traditions, celebrates diversity, provides opportunities and safeguards biodiversity,” says UNWTO.
The top 32 villages chosen for 2022 span 18 countries across the globe, narrowed down from a total of 136 villages nominated by UNWTO’s member states.
Raqchi in Peru, Pyeongsa-ri in South Korea, Creel in Mexico, and Birgi in Turkey were just four of the little-known spots named by the organisation.
The Austrian villages of Zell am See and Wagrain were both included on the list, while Spain was represented by three small communities: Rupit, Alquézar and Guadalupe.
The Moroccan Berber village of Ksar Elkhorbat, a 19th-century fortified village which has been restored for tourists with a museum, women’s workshop and guesthouse, also made the list.
The team behind the list also pointed tourists towards Isola del Giglio, an Italian island off the Tuscan coast, and Sauris/Zahre, an Italian Alpine comune close to the border with Austria.
“The Best Tourism Villages [list] showcases the power of the sector to drive economic diversification and create opportunities for all outside of big cities,” said UNWTO’s secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili.
“The accolade recognizes rural destinations that are embracing tourism as a driver of development and new opportunities for jobs and income, while preserving and promoting community-based values and products,” added a UNWTO statement.
The world’s top 32 rural villages to visit on your travels:
- Zell am See, Austria
- Wagrain, Austria
- Puqueldón, Chile
- Dazhai, China
- Jingzhu, China
- Choachí, Colombia
- Aguarico, Ecuador
- Angochagua, Ecuador
- Choke Mountains Ecovillage,…